Mega Millions jackpot swells to largest ever: $1.6 billion
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Mega Millions jackpot swells to largest ever: $1.6 billion

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    A man walked past Mega Millions and other lottery displays outside of The Lucky Spot in San Francisco, Thursday. No one won the latest Mega Millions drawing, meaning the jackpot climbs to a staggering $1.6 billion.

Did you end up with a losing Mega Millions ticket on Friday? If so, take heart: Nobody else won the jackpot, either. That means the top prize has now risen to an estimated $1.6 billion.

That’s the largest lottery prize ever, surpassing the $1.59 billion Powerball jackpot drawn in 2016. The previous record for a Mega Millions jackpot was $656 million in 2012. The money was divided evenly by winners in Illinois, Kansas and Maryland.

“We’re somewhat in uncharted territory here,” Gordon Medenica, lead director of the lottery consortium known as the Mega Millions Group, said today.

The next Mega Millions drawing will be Tuesday. The jackpot could rise even more by then, depending on how many tickets sell over the next few days, Medenica said.

If you’re itching to play before then, the Powerball drawing will be today. The Powerball jackpot also rose this week after no winners emerged Wednesday, bringing that grand prize to $470 million.

Mega Millions tickets are sold in 44 states as well as Washington, D.C., and the Virgin Islands. Residents in the six states that don’t have lotteries (Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada and Utah) can buy their tickets often right across the border.

One of the largest lottery retailers in Georgia is at a truck stop on the interstate between Atlanta and Birmingham, Alabama, Medenica said.

Tickets cost $2, which seems like a relatively small price to pay for a chance at becoming rich. But don’t get your hopes up too much. The odds of winning the Mega Millions are about 1 in 302 million. Winning the Mega Millions and the Powerball and raking in more than $2 billion is even more unlikely: The odds are 1 in 88 quadrillion.

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