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Mega Millions jackpot grows to $940 million for Friday’s drawing

While much of the lottery world’s attention this month focused on the $1-billion Powerball jackpot won last week in downtown Los Angeles, another nearly equal grand prize grew in its shadow.

California Mega Millions officials announced that Friday’s estimated jackpot stands at approximately $940 million. The drawing will be held at 8 p.m., with final ticket sales being accepted until 7:45 p.m.

Tickets cost $2 each and a winner must match five numbers on white balls between one and 70 and one Mega number on a golden ball between one and 25. Odds of correctly selecting each winning digit is roughly 1 in 302.6 million.

Friday’s jackpot is currently the eighth-largest in lottery history and fifth-biggest in Mega Millions lore, just trailing the $1.050 billion won by a Detroit foursome in March 2021.

A victory would net the winner either a one-time cash payout of $472 million or the option for a 30-year annuity. Once a winner is declared, they’ll have 60 days to decide how they’d like their winnings dispersed.

If no winner is announced, the jackpot will carry over a 29th consecutive time and the grand prize will likely go past $1 billion. The last Mega Millions jackpot was claimed on April 18.

As the size of the prize has grown, one clear victor has been California public school students.

About 95% of all money raised for lotteries goes back to California public schools. Of that amount, K-12 education receives 80%, community colleges 14%, California State University schools 4% and University of California schools 2%, according to lottery officials.

Los Angeles County has received $135.15 million as of the second fiscal quarter this year, according to lottery officials. The number for Orange County is $49.15 million.

Larger jackpots have resulted in bigger shares for schools and massive payouts for individual winners.

The financial analysts at NerdWallet noted that jackpots have grown in size over the last few years for different reasons.

In the case of the Powerball, it’s been more difficult to win.

NerdWallet said that the lottery introduced more white balls into the pot, leading to more smaller victories but fewer jackpots.

In the case of the Mega Millions, the price of the ticket increased by $1, which allowed for larger stakes.

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