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Mega Millions jackpot leaps to estimated $1.25 billion

No big winner, Mega Millions jackpot jumps to $1.25 billion
No big winner, Mega Millions jackpot jumps to $1.25 billion 00:30

The Mega Millions jackpot climbed to a stratospheric estimated $1.25 billion after no winning tickets were sold for Tuesday night's estimated $1.1 billion pot of gold. 

The winning numbers for the latest drawing were 8, 24, 30, 45, 61 with a Mega Ball of 12.

The $1.25 billion jackpot would be Mega Millions' fourth-largest ever. It could climb even higher as more and more tickets are gobbled up leading to Friday night's drawing.

Tuesday's grand prize was initially estimated at $1.05 billion after no tickets matched all six numbers in last Friday night's drawing, but grew in the following days.

Whoever wins a Mega Millions jackpot has the option to collect it as an annuity or a one-time cash payment. The cash option for the new jackpot would be roughly $625.3 million. That option for Tuesday night's jackpot was estimated at $550.2 million.

All totals are before taxes are taken out.

The jackpot has been growing since it was last won in April, and 30 drawings have been held since with no tickets matching the five white balls and gold Mega Ball.

Tuesday's Mega Millions jackpot was the summer's second chance for a billion-dollar windfall.

Last month, one winning ticket was sold at a mini-market in downtown Los Angeles for Powerball's $1.08 billion jackpot. After it was determined there was a winner, officials said it might take months for the ticket holder or holders to be identified publicly.

Tuesday night's massive jackpot would have been the sixth-biggest in U.S. lottery history, according to lottery officials.

In July 2022, a winning Mega Millions ticket worth an estimated $1.337 billion was bought in Illinois for the game's third-biggest pot of gold. This past January, a Mega Millions ticket sold in Maine was worth about $1.348 billion, and the biggest Mega Millions jackpot of an estimated $1.537 billion was won in 2018.

The biggest U.S. lottery jackpot of approximately $2.04 billion was won in November 2022 in California. The second largest, also a Powerball grand prize, was split among three ticket holders in California, Florida and Tennessee and was worth an estimated $1.586 billion.

The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are about 1 in 302.58 million.

Tickets cost $2 each and are sold in 45 states, Washington, D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Drawings are on Tuesday and Friday nights.

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