CHICAGO - The Mega Millions jackpot has grown to an estimated $1.02 billion ahead of Friday night’s drawing, a prize that will be the nation’s fourth-largest lottery prize ever.
Following Tuesday’s drawing, in which no one matched all six numbers to win big, the Mega Millions prize continued to climb — and now has a $602.5 million cash option, too.
The jackpot has grown so large because no one has matched the game’s six selected numbers since April 15. That’s 29 consecutive drawings without a big winner.
Only two billion-dollar jackpots have ever been higher: $1.537 billion won in South Carolina in October 2018, and $1.050 billion won in Michigan in January 2021, lottery officials said.
The next drawing is Friday, July 29 at 11 p.m. ET.
Last night's Mega Million numbers (July 26)
Tuesday night’s numbers, which were 07-29-60-63-66, and the Mega Ball 15, did bring some second and third prize winners.
Nine tickets matched the five white balls to win the Mega Millions second prize of $1 million, including two each in New York and New Jersey, and one each in California, Florida, Illinois and Ohio.
The winning ticket sold in Ohio was worth $3 million because it included the optional Megaplie, a $1 extra purchase available in most states, which was 3X Tuesday night.
How to play, odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot
Mega Millions drawings are held Tuesday and Friday at 11 p.m. ET. Five white balls are drawn from a set of balls numbered 1 through 70, and one gold Mega Ball is drawn from a set of balls numbered 1 through 25. Players win if the numbers on one row of a ticket match the numbers of the balls drawn on that date.
This illustration photo shows a Mega Millions lottery ticket in Washington, DC, on July 26, 2022. (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)
Mega Millions tickets cost $2 per play. Players win the jackpot by matching all six numbers in a drawing. If no one wins the jackpot, the money is added to the jackpot for the next drawing.
For those lucky enough to become a Mega Millions jackpot winner, they get the choice of a cash option or an annual payout. The annuity option means getting an initial payment followed by 29 annual payments, and each payment is 5% larger than the previous one. For those that select the cash option, they receive a one-time, lump-sum payment that is equal to all the cash in the Mega Millions jackpot prize pool after taxes.
The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot prize is roughly 1 in 302,575,350, lottery officials said. But a player’s overall chance of winning any prize is 1 in 24.
This story was reported from Cincinnati.