Prepare to wait your turn at stores that sell lottery tickets today as jackpot fever hits the U.S. The Mega Millions jackpot which was $654 million earlier this week, then $900 million on Thursday has now topped $1 billion dollars.
The drawing happens at tonight (Friday) at 9:00 p.m.
In the drawing, five balls come through a hopper filled with balls numbered 1 through 70, then 1 ball is drawn from a set of balls numbered 1 through 25. To win the jackpot you must match all of the numbers drawn.
That huge jackpot of $1 billion is only available for players who choose the annuity option with a payout over 29 years. Most choose the cash option which is a paltry $565 million.
Your odds of winning are really, really low. But at $2 bucks for a set of numbers, many are willing to take the chance on losing a couple bucks. You’re playing against people in 44 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The last group that won a Mega Millions jackpot of $543 million took part in an office pool in California who split it amongst 11 players.
The record lottery jackpot was a $1.6 billion Powerball prize won in January 2016.