Powerball, Mega Millions jackpots top half a billion dollars this week

Powerball and Mega Millions drawings are delivering dueling jackpots for the holidays that together total more than half a billion dollars.

Tuesday’s Mega Millions jackpot stands at a $264 million annuity that is worth $199.8 million in cash. The amount of Wednesday’s Powerball jackpot is slightly lower, standing at a $262 million annuity that is worth $199.4 million in cash.

“Either of these jackpots would be a life-changing gift for the holidays,” said Mark Michalko, executive director of the N.C. Education Lottery. “It would be exciting for someone in North Carolina to win one and have their holiday dreams come true.”

Both games offer other ways to win besides the jackpot. For $2 tickets, Mega Millions prizes range from $2 to $1 million and Powerball prizes range from $4 to $1 million.

Two North Carolina Mega Millions players won a $10,000 prize in Friday’s drawing when their $2 tickets matched four of the white balls and the yellow Mega Ball. One lucky ticket was sold at the Circle K on Rockfish Road in Fayetteville and the other at Lowe’s Foods on Independence Boulevard in Mount Airy.

Someone won a $1 million Mega Million prize in the Nov. 27 drawing with a ticket purchased at a Concord convenience store, the Carolina Fast Mart on U.S. 601. A $1 million Powerball prize was won in the Oct. 21 drawing by a Washington, N.C. man.

The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are 1 in 292 million. The odds of winning a Mega Millions jackpot are 1 in 302.5 million.

Players can try their luck and buy $2 Powerball or Mega Millions tickets at any lottery retail location or through Online Play on the lottery’s website, www.nclottery.com.

Ticket sales from draw games make it possible for the lottery to raise more than $725 million a year for education. For details on how lottery funds have made a difference in all of North Carolina’s 100 counties, click on the “Impact” section of the lottery’s website.