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Mega Millions jackpot swells to record $1 billion

Peter Martinez

This article, Mega Millions jackpot swells to record $1 billion, originally appeared on CBSNews.com

The Mega Millions jackpot ballooned to a record high: $1 billion for Friday night's drawing. It's the second-largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history. The increase comes three days after no ticket matched all six winning numbers drawn  and dwarfs the $430 million jackpot up for grabs when those numbers are chosen around 11 p.m. ET Saturday night.

Tuesday's Mega Millions winning numbers were 3, 45, 49, 61, 69 with a Mega Ball of 9 for a jackpot worth $667 million at the time. It had increased and officials raised the jackpot to $900 million later in the day, then to $970 million Thursday. They say the estimated cash value for Friday's jackpot is $565 million.

If the winner chooses the annuity option, the jackpot would be paid out over 29 years. The cash option is usually favored by the winners.

The jackpot keeps swelling because nobody has won since July 24, when 11 workers in a California office shared $543 million, the largest prize ever won on a single ticket in the game.

Mega Millions says its previous record jackpot was a $656 million prize that was shared by winners from Kansas, Illinois and Maryland in March 2012.

"Everyone is talking about the jackpot and running out to buy tickets for tonight's drawing," Gordon Medenica, Mega Millions lead director and Maryland Lottery and Gaming director, said in a press release about Tuesday night's suspense.

Nine Mega Millions tickets from Tuesday's drawing matched five white balls to win the second prize – $1 million. And one of those, sold in Texas, had the Megaplier option, available in most states for an extra $1. That ticket is worth $5 million. 

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Mega Millions tickets cost $2 per play and there are a total of nine ways to win a prize, ranging from the jackpot down to $2. You can play Mega Millions in 46 localities: 44 states plus Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Powerball jackpot Saturday

The Powerball jackpot up for grabs Saturday night will be a hefty $430 million, with a cash value of $248 million.

The largest Powerball jackpot -- and biggest in U.S. lottery history -- was $1.586 billion, which was shared by winners in California, Florida and Tennessee in January 2016.

Odds of winning

The  remain abysmal at 1 in 302 million for Mega Millions and 1 in 292.2 million for Powerball.

Who buys lotto tickets?

The average American spends about $223 per year on lottery tickets, according to a survey from LENDedu. Massachusetts residents have the biggest taste for playing the odds, spending almost $763 per year on lottery tickets, the study found. North Dakotans are on the opposite end of the spectrum, spending about $44 per year on the lottery, or the lowest average figure among residents of all 50 states.

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Aimee Picchi contributed to this report.

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