The Mega Millions jackpot is $970 million. What to know before you buy a ticket

MARK RALSTON | AFP | Getty Images

At some level, whether or not Friday night time or down the street, somebody is going to win the Mega Millions jackpot.

It simply most likely will not be you.

With the chances stacked towards gamers matching all six numbers wanted to hit the mom lode, the lottery recreation’s high prize has reached an estimated $970 million for Friday night time’s drawing. The money possibility — which most winners select over an annuity — is $716.three million (pre-tax). The jackpot additionally is the third-largest in U.S. lottery historical past.

Friday night time’s drawing is coming simply a few days after one other lottery recreation had a big amount of cash received: A ticket bought in Maryland hit Powerball’s $731.1 million jackpot ($546.eight million money possibility), which ranks because the sixth-largest prize ever.

“We know that players love big jackpots, and when the numbers are this big, it becomes a national phenomenon,” mentioned Gordon Medenica, Maryland lottery director and lead director of Mega Millions.

“Everyone wants to dream about what they’d do if they won,” Medenica mentioned. 

The Mega Millions jackpot has been climbing since mid-September, when somebody scored $120 million ($95.four million money) and the highest prize reset to $20 million. That’s 37 weeks of nobody matching all six numbers in twice-weekly drawings, marking the longest stretch ever with no winner, in accordance to lottery officers.

Each Mega Millions ticket has about a 1 in 302 million probability of successful the jackpot. For Powerball, it is barely higher: 1 in 292 million.

Even if you buy a number of tickets, you would not transfer the needle a lot. To give your self even a 50-50 probability of successful the Mega Millions jackpot — i.e., the identical odds when you flip a coin as soon as — you’d have to buy greater than 151 million completely different quantity combos. Even then, although, you would not give you the option to assure that you’re the one winner.

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In reality, the most important jackpot in U.S. historical past — a $1.59 billion Powerball prize in 2016 — was break up 3 ways.

For the Friday night time drawing, lottery officers estimate that 40% of all attainable quantity combos might be performed. 

Of course, you can win within the recreation with out hitting the jackpot. The final Mega Millions drawing, held Tuesday night time, produced practically 5.2 million successful tickets, in accordance to lottery information. That included two winners of $2 million every, 11 winners of $1 million every and 139 winners who nabbed not less than $10,000.

Once the Mega Millions jackpot is received, it is going to reset to $20 million.

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