The Mega Millions jackpot has reached an estimated $1.28 billion as more people try their luck — even though the odds of winning are highly unlikely.
The record Mega Millions prize is $1.536 billion and was sold in October 2018. Powerball holds the world record jackpot of $1.586 billion, which was split between three winning tickets on January 13, 2016.
The increase ahead of Friday’s drawing at 11pm ET makes the jackpot the third-largest after the $1.5 billion in prizes won in 2018 and 2016.
The Mega Millions prize has grown so big because it’s been more than three months since anyone matched six numbers in the game and won the jackpot.
Before you rush to spend $2 on a ticket, keep in mind that the odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are a staggering 1 in 302.5 million.
The $1.28 billion prize is for players to receive their winnings through an annuity paid annually over 29 years. Almost all winners take the cash option, which for Friday’s drawing is approximately $747.2 million.
Mega Millions is played in 45 states as well as Washington, DC and the US Virgin Islands. The game is controlled by state lottery officials.
Think you have a chance to win the lottery? Well, you do! But this is a very, very small chance. Here are some things that are more likely to happen to you.