Mega Millions Jackpot Climbs To $1 BIllion

Friday, October 19th 2018, 4:09 am
By: News On 6

The Mega Millions jackpot ballooned to an estimated $1 billion, for Friday night's drawing. It's the second-largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history. 

Lottery officials increased the grand prize just hours ahead of the Friday night drawing. The prize climbed from $970 million.

Although the jackpot keeps increasing, the odds of winning remain stuck at a miserable one in 302.5 million.

The increase comes two days after no ticket matched all six winning numbers drawn Tuesday night and dwarfs the Powerball $430 million jackpot up for grabs when those numbers are chosen at 10 p.m.

If the winner chooses the annuity option, the jackpot would be paid out over 29 years. The cash option is usually favored by the winners.

The jackpot keeps swelling because nobody has won since July 24, when 11 workers in a California office shared $543 million, the largest prize ever won on a single ticket in the game.

Mega Millions says its previous record jackpot was a $656 million prize that was shared by winners from Kansas, Illinois and Maryland in March 2012.

"Everyone is talking about the jackpot and running out to buy tickets for tonight's drawing," Gordon Medenica, Mega Millions lead director and Maryland Lottery and Gaming director, said in a press release about Tuesday night's suspense.

Mega Millions tickets cost $2 per play and there are a total of nine ways to win a prize, ranging from the jackpot down to $2. 

The Powerball jackpot up for grabs Saturday night will be a hefty $430 million, with a cash value of $248 million.

The odds of winning a jackpot remain at 1 in 302-million for Mega Millions and 1 in 292.2-million for Powerball.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.