(AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

Mega Millions Jackpot Reaches $1B As Drawing Nears

October 19, 2018 - 11:35 am
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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Mega Millions jackpot has soared to an estimated $1 billion, as the second-largest lottery prize in U.S. lottery history gets even bigger.

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

RELATED: What Happens If You Win Mega Millions' Jackpot? | Mega Millions Jackpot Hits $1B Thanks To Worsening Odds

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

The prize has grown so large because no one has hit the jackpot since July 24, when a group in California won $543 million.

The $1 billion prize refers to the annuity option. Most winners opt for cash, which for Friday night's drawing would be $565 million.

Officials say that if there isn't a winner, the prize for Tuesday night's drawing would be $1.6 billion, tying the largest U.S. lottery prize.

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)

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