Mega Millions jackpot hits $1.35 billion ahead of Friday

Mega Millions jackpot hits $1.35 billion ahead of Friday

Mega Millions jackpot reaches $1.35 billion

Mega Millions jackpot reaches $1.35 billion 00: 16

On Friday night, a lucky winner can pocket $1.35 billion dollars — the fourth-largest lottery jackpot ever, and the second-largest in Mega Millions history. 

For nearly three months there has been no lottery winner, Mega Millions said, which has increased excitement for Friday night’s drawing.

A single jackpot winner for Friday’s drawing would have the choice of getting a lump-sum cash payout of an estimated $724.6 million before taxes. Or, they could take the annuity option, which would consist of 29 annual payments.

Each payment would average about $45 million, according to the lottery resource website USA Mega. After federal taxes, and before state taxes, the lump-sum payment would come out to about $446 million, per USA Mega.

If there are multiple winners Friday, they would split the jackpot evenly.

Tonight's Mega Millions jackpot hits $1.35 billion - 2nd largest in history
A Mega Millions sign seen at a store in New York City on Jan. 12, 2023.  Fatih Aktas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

In November, a single winning Powerball ticket sold in the Los Angeles metro area won a $2.04 billion jackpot, the largest in lottery history. 

A single South Carolina ticket claimed the largest Mega Millions jackpot ever at $1.537 billion in October 2018. And in July, a ticket sold in Illinois won a $1.337 billion Mega Millions jackpot, the third largest ever, if Friday’s numbers hold.

The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are 1 in 302.6 million. 

“To put it into perspective, the typical person who is a golfer would have about a 1-in-15,000 chance in making a hole-in-one on a particular hole,” Holy Cross economics professor Victor Matheson told CBS News earlier this week. “So winning the Powerball or the Mega Millions is like getting two hole-in-ones in a row when playing golf.”  

Matheson said that the Multi-State Lottery Association, a not-for-profit group that coordinates Mega Millions, purposefully engineered the game to generate large sums by making it more difficult to win the jackpot and increasing the price of each ticket from $1 to $2.

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