The Mega Millions jackpot has climbed to an eye-popping $970 million, inching ever-closer to the $1billion mark.
Officials raised the estimated jackpot Thursday for the second time due to strong sales ahead of Friday night’s drawing.
The prize is the second-largest jackpot in US history, behind only a $1.6billion Powerball prize won in 2016.
An attendant changes the signage for the Mega Millions jackpot total to $970million on Thursday outside a lottery booth in downtown Boston
No one has matched all six numbers and won the Mega Millions grand prize since July 24, when an 11-member office pool in Santa Clara County, California, hit a $543million jackpot. That reflects the game’s exceedingly long odds, at one in 302.5 million.
The winning numbers on Tuesday night were 3, 45, 49, 61, 69 and Mega Ball 9.
The $970million refers to the annuity option, paid over 29 years. Most winners take the lump-sum cash option, which would pay an immediate $513million. About half of the jackpot winnings would go to taxes.
Mega Millions tickets are sold for $2 each in 44 states, plus Washington, DC, and the US Virgin Islands.
While the odds of winning the big prize by matching all six numbers correctly are astronomical, the odds of turning a Mega Millions ticket into a winner of any kind, including a $2 prize simply for matching the ‘Mega ball’, are a more reasonable one in 24.
But Mega Millions is not the only lottery offering a chance to get rich quickly: the Powerball jackpot has been raised to $430million ahead of the next drawing on Saturday.
A Mega Millions lottery ticket rests on the shop counter at the Street Corner Market, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018, in Cincinnati. The estimated jackpot for Friday’s drawing would be the second-largest lottery prize in U.S. history with a jackpot estimated to exceed $900 million. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
A Mega Millions transaction is processed at the Street Corner Market, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018, in Cincinnati. The estimated jackpot for Friday’s drawing would be the second-largest lottery prize in U.S. history with a jackpot estimated to exceed $900 million. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
The Mega Millions jackpot is displayed at a convenience store Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018, in Chicago. The Mega Millions jackpot is now up to $900 million. The estimated jackpot for Friday’s drawing would be the second-largest lottery prize in U.S. history. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
The Mega Millions jackpot is displayed as a customer leaves the Corner Market, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018, in Lyndhurst, Ohio. The next drawing will be Friday. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
TOP TEN U.S. LARGEST JACKPOTS
Lottery players will have a chance at winning an estimated $970million jackpot in Friday’s Mega Millions drawing, which would be the second-largest prize in U.S. history.
Here is a look at the 10 largest U.S. jackpots that have been won and the states where the winning tickets were sold:
1. $1.6 billion, Powerball, Jan. 13, 2016 (three tickets, from California, Florida, Tennessee)
2. $758.7 million, Powerball, Aug. 23, 2017 (one ticket, from Massachusetts)
3. $656 million, Mega Millions, March 30, 2012 (three tickets, from Kansas, Illinois and Maryland)
4. $648 million, Mega Millions, Dec. 17, 2013 (two tickets, from California and Georgia)
5. $590.5 million, Powerball, May 18, 2013 (one ticket, from Florida)
6. $587.5 million, Powerball, Nov. 28, 2012 (two tickets, from Arizona and Missouri)
7. $564.1 million, Powerball, Feb. 11, 2015 (three tickets, from North Carolina, Puerto Rico and Texas)
8. $559.7 million, Powerball, Jan. 6, 2018 (one ticket, New Hampshire)
9. $543 million, Mega Millions, July 24, 2018 (one ticket, California)
10. $536 million, Mega Millions, July 8, 2016 (one ticket, from Indiana)