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Mega Millions jackpot nears billion dollar mark, at $977 million

Combined jackpots surpass $1.5 billion
Powerball, Mega Millions jackpots surpass $1.5 billion combined 03:11

The Mega Millions jackpot soared to an estimated $977 million when no winning tickets were sold for Tuesday night's grand prize of roughly $893 million. And the pot of gold it could climb even higher as more tickets are gobbled up for the next drawing on Friday night.

The winning numbers for Tuesday's jackpot were 24, 46, 49, 62 and 66, with a Mega Ball of 7.

There have been 29 drawings since the last jackpot winner on Dec. 8.

The holder of a single-winning ticket for Friday's jackpot would have the choice of getting a one-time lump-sum payment of about $461 million in cash before taxes or going with an annuity for the full amount consisting of annual payments over 30 years.

Mega Millions officials say this is only the sixth time in the game's nearly 22-year history that the jackpot has gone as high as $977 million, and the five jackpots that topped it were all over $1 billion.

The largest Mega Millions jackpot ever was a $1.6 billion prize from a single ticket sold in Neptune, Florida, last August. 

The largest prize in U.S. lottery history was a $2.04 billion Powerball jackpot from a single ticket sold near Los Angeles in February 2023.

Meanwhile, the Powerball jackpot has also been steadily climbing, reaching an estimated $687 million ahead of Wednesday night's drawing. There hasn't been a jackpot winner in that game since New Year's Day. 

Mega Millions drawings take place at 11 p.m. Eastern on Tuesdays and Fridays. Tickets are sold in 45 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands for $2 each. The odds of winning a Mega Millions jackpot are one-in-302,575,350.

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