There’s still time to win big in Friday’s upcoming Mega Millions draw for the US$1.35-billion ($1.81 billion) jackpot.
On Tuesday night, no one matched the six winning lottery numbers — 7, 13, 14, 15, 18 and Mega Ball 9 — for the $1.1-billion prize, elevating the jackpot to the new $1.35-billion total.
According to a Mega Millions press release, this is the lottery’s second-highest jackpot ever. The largest Mega Millions lottery winning was a $1.537-billion jackpot from 2018, which was claimed in South Carolina.
In November 2022, a single Powerball ticket won the largest lottery prize ever seen in the U.S., a record-setting $2.04 billion.
Single winning Powerball ticket sold for world-record US$2.04B jackpot
The winner of Friday’s upcoming draw, should there be one, will have a choice between receiving the $1.35-billion jackpot in annuity payments or an immediate $707.9 million in cash, as per the Mega Millions press release.
“The jackpot has rolled again, keeping everyone who follows Mega Millions in suspense for yet another drawing,” Ohio Lottery director Pat McDonald said.
There were, however, 16 second-place winners during Tuesday’s draw, all of whom walked away with a prize of up to $3 million. An additional 215 ticketholders also won the third-tier prize of up to $30,000.
There have been 25 Mega Millions drawings without a first-prize winner. The last jackpot was $502 million, claimed in California on Oct. 14, 2022 — the 11th-largest Mega Millions jackpot at the time.
In 2017, officials changed the Mega Millions lottery rules to make the jackpot more difficult to win, reported The Associated Press. Currently, the odds of winning a Mega Millions jackpot are one in 292.2 million, a decrease from the former one-in-175.2 million odds.
The rule change was enacted to allow the jackpot total to incrementally increase week after week. The hope, according to The Associated Press, was to entice people to play the lottery with larger, more sensational prize numbers.
But it’s not just Americans who get to enjoy all of the insanely high jackpot prizes. Mega Millions lottery players do not need to be U.S. citizens or residents, meaning Canadians are welcome to purchase tickets.
The easiest way to get enter the Mega Millions draw is to buy a lottery ticket in the States yourself, or get an American friend or family member to purchase a ticket on your behalf. There are also numerous third-party services that claim to buy a ticket on your behalf — though this option may come with some risks, lotteries warn.
— With files from Global News’ Kathryn Mannie
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