For 1st time, both national lottery games top $300 million

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — For the first time, U.S. lottery players will have a choice of games offering jackpots topping $300 million.

In the seven years since all U.S. lotteries began selling both Powerball and Mega Millions tickets, both games have never offered prizes so large at the same time.

The jackpot for Tuesday night’s Mega Millions drawing is an estimated $350 million, and the top prize for Wednesday night’s Powerball drawing is $307 million. Those prizes are based on annuity options, paid over 29 years. Cash prizes would be an estimated $218.3 million for Mega Millions and $193.2 million for Powerball.

Of course, even with more options for giant payouts, the odds of winning a jackpot remain abysmal at one in 258.9 million for Mega Millions and one in 292.2 million for Powerball.