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Holiday Weekend Begins With Record $415 Million Mega Millions Jackpot

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NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Friday night's Mega Millions drawing will give lottery players here in North Texas and across the country a shot at the 10th largest jackpot in U.S. history.

Because no one has won a Mega Millions jackpot since March 8, the prize has steadily grown to an estimated $415 million. That makes it the largest jackpot since a $430 million Powerball prize won by a New Jersey family May 7.

The record prize was a $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot won in January by players in three states. The sixth largest U.S. jackpot was a $564.1 million Powerball prize that was spilt between a North Texas winner and players in two other states. The Texas winner, who bought the ticket in the Collin County city of Princeton, formed a trust and claimed the $127,046,150.05 cash value option for one-third of the prize.

Mega Millions ticket buyers play by picking five numbers, between 1 and 75, from the first pool of numbers on the top section of the card, then choosing one number, between 1 and 15, from the second pool of numbers on the bottom section of the card. There's also the Easy Pick option to let the computer choose the numbers.

Winning numbers in the Mega Millions game will be drawn at 10 p.m. tonight. The odds of picking the correct numbers on five white balls and one yellow ball are one in 259 million.

The Mega Millions game was launched in 2002 and has awarded 10 jackpots of more than $300 million. The multi-state lottery game is played in 43 states plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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