PHOENIX, AZ--(Marketwire -03/28/12)- The Mega Millions jackpot has been increased from $476 million to an estimated $500 million for the draw on Friday, March 30. The jackpots are established based on a forecast of ticket sales. In this case, the ticket sales have outpaced the forecast, resulting in the increase of the estimated jackpot amount.
This is the largest Mega Millions annuity since the game's inception in 2002 and the largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history. The cash option is $359 million, the record largest cash jackpot in Mega Millions history.
"This is a very exciting time for the Arizona Lottery since the Mega Millions jackpot is half a billion dollars for Friday night's draw, a U.S. lottery record," said Karen Bach, assistant director of budget, products and communications for the Arizona Lottery. "The Arizona Lottery encourages players to play responsibly and know their limits."
Mega Millions tickets cost $1 each. Players select five out of 56 numbers, then select one out of 46 for the Mega Ball number. Players can also pay an extra $1 for a Megaplier that multiplies winnings, excluding the jackpot, up to four times the original amount. Drawings are held on Tuesdays and Fridays. The game is played in 42 states, plus Washington, D.C. and the Virgin Islands.
In the last week alone, there have been more than 56,000 Mega Millions winners in Arizona.
Players must be 21 years or older to purchase or redeem tickets. Winners have 180 days from the drawing date to claim their prize at an Arizona Lottery office or by mail. Overall odds vary by game. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, these materials may be made available in an alternate format. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-NEXT STEP. Please Play Responsibly. ™
About the Arizona Lottery
The Arizona Lottery operates entirely from the revenue it generates through the sale of its products; it receives no General Fund dollars from the State. Proceeds from sales of Lottery tickets -- nearly $3 million per week -- fund a variety of state programs. Since July 1981, the Arizona Lottery has paid out more than $4.6 billion in prizes to players, nearly $2.7 billion in net profit to the state and more than $550 million in commissions to retailers.