Mega Millions jackpot soars to $970 million for Friday's drawing

Dwayne Harmon
October 19, 2018

This week's Tuesday Mega Millions drawing had an estimated jackpot of $667 million, which would have been the game's biggest grand prize in history. There's also a $430 million Powerball drawing Saturday.

It might be nice to dream, but look at reality.

Mega Millions is played in 44 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The odds of winning the LOTTO MAX are 1 in 28 million.

But somebody has to win, right? According to the N.C. Education Lottery, which offers Mega Millions tickets, a single victor in Friday's drawing would receive $514.4 million if they took the cash option.

If you haven't bought a ticket, there's still time.

Tickets are $2 and players choose five numbers from 1 to 69 and one Powerball number from 1 to 26.

In Wednesday's drawing, 48,014 Powerball tickets sold in North Carolina won a prize.

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Now, by Friday morning, that jackpot struck $970 million or a cash lump sum of $548 million. "That's worth two dollars", said Robert Doty, the executive director of the Minnesota Lottery. Winners have 180 days to claim their prizes.

Some accuse lottery officials of false advertising on this issue. But still, it's an obscene amount of money.

Pick the less liked numbers, he suggests, that way you're more likely take home a bigger chunk of the pot. The estimated cash value is $199 million.

And sure someone will win eventually but the odds are not stacked in your favour. Few people, if anyone, could handle a windfall without making a few mistakes.

"Florida Lottery players will never be required to transfer funds to secure their winnings for Mega Millions or any other Florida Lottery game", the Florida Lottery said in a news release. Take your time to figure out what you want to do.

"The odds are just about one in 302 million of winning the jackpot", said Odlyzko. There are smaller prizes, from $4 up to $1 million, for matching some, but not all, numbers.

Kevin Ellis loves to write stories about lottery winners.

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