(NEXSTAR) — Lottery players will have another shot at a huge Mega Millions jackpot Friday night and a chance to break a stretch of more than three months without a big winner of the game.
The estimated $910 million prize has been building since someone last matched all six numbers and won the jackpot April 18. Since then, there have been 28 straight drawings without a jackpot winner.
The jackpot is now the eighth-largest ever in the U.S. It comes a little over a week after someone in Los Angeles won a $1.08 billion Powerball prize that ranked as the sixth-largest in U.S. history. It’s still a mystery who won that prize.
The largest U.S. lottery prizes:
- $2.04 billion (Powerball): Nov. 7, 2022; California
- $1.586 billion (Powerball): Jan. 13, 2016; California, Florida, Tennessee
- $1.537 billion (Mega Millions): Oct. 23, 2018; South Carolina
- $1.348 billion (Mega Millions): Jan. 13, 2023; Maine
- $1.337 billion (Mega Millions): July 29, 2022; Illinois
- $1.08 billion (Powerball): July 19, 2023; California
- $1.050 billion (Mega Millions): Jan. 22, 2021; Michigan
- $910 million (est. Mega Millions): July 28, 2023
- $768.4 million (Powerball): March 27, 2019; Wisconsin
- $758.7 million (Powerball): Aug. 23, 2017; Massachusetts
Jackpots in the two lottery games grow so large because the steep odds make winning so unlikely, allowing the grand prize to roll over again and again. The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are 1 in 302.5 million.
The game pays out many more smaller prizes, which start at $2. The overall odds of winning any prize is 1 in 24.
The $910 million pot on the line Friday night will be that high only if a single player wins and they choose to be paid through an annuity of one immediate payment and 29 annual allotments. But jackpot winners nearly always take the cash in a lump sum, which for Friday night’s drawing would be an estimated $464.2 million.
Regardless of which payout you select, how much money you actually take home will vary by state.
You may want to think twice before collecting the cash option though. Winners of giant jackpots nearly always take the cash, and financial advisers say that might be a mistake.
Mega Millions tickets start at $2 each and are sold in 45 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Winners would also be subject to federal taxes, while many states also tax lottery winnings.
Mega Millions is played in 45 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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