Mega Millions climbs to estimated $1 billion ahead of Friday night drawing

National News

(WNCN/AP) — Lottery players will have another shot at now the second-largest jackpot in U.S. history on Friday night as the Mega Millions jackpot has climbed to an estimated $1 billion.

The Mega Millions top prize rose to an estimated $970 million, the biggest jackpot in more than two years after nobody won. Lottery officials updated the Mega Millions website to reflect the $1 billion now up for grabs.

Winners almost always opt for cash prizes, which for Mega Millions would be $739. 6 million.

“It would be thrilling to see someone from North Carolina win this historic jackpot,” said Mark Michalko, executive director of the N.C. Education Lottery. “This is exciting, but we remind everyone to remember it only takes one ticket to win. If you buy your ticket in store, please practice COVID safety measures to keep everyone safe too.”

The winning numbers in Tuesday night’s Mega Millions drawing were: 10-19-26-28-50 and a Mega Ball of 16.

No one has won the Mega Millions jackpot since Sept. 15, allowing the prize to grow larger and larger over four months. The last Powerball jackpot winner was a day later, on Sept. 16.

Such big jackpots are rare, but both games rely on incredibly long odds to generate attention and increase sales. For Mega Millions, the odds of matching all six numbers is one in 302.5 million, and for Powerball it’s one in 292.2 million.

Winners can also choose an annuity option, paid over 30 years.

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