Illinois Lottery Giving Away Mega Millions Tickets in Chicago Friday

The Mega Millions jackpot has climbed to $1billion ahead of Friday night's drawing

As the Mega Millions jackpot reaches the $1 billion mark, the Illinois Lottery plans to celebrate by giving away hundreds of tickets outside of Chicago's Thompson Center Friday. 

The lottery will "take over" the Thompson Center Plaza to see "how Illinois' optimistic residents would spend all their time following a big win." It will also give away 970 tickets in a "ticket grab machine." 

The event starts at 10 a.m. and goes until 1 p.m. 

Officials raised the estimated jackpot Thursday for the second time due to strong sales ahead of Friday night's drawing.

The prize is the second-largest jackpot in U.S. history, behind only a $1.6 billion Powerball prize won in 2016.

No one has matched all six numbers and won the Mega Millions grand prize since July 24. That reflects the game's long odds, at one in 302.5 million.

The $970 million refers to the annuity option, paid over 29 years. Most winners take the cash option, which would pay an immediate $513 million. About half of the jackpot winnings would go to taxes.

Meanwhile, there was no winner in Wednesday night's Powerball drawing, leaving the jackpot to swell to an estimated $430 million. The next drawing is Saturday.

Between that pot and the Mega Millions lottery prize, which rose from $900 million after Tuesday's winner-less drawing to $970 million on Thursday, there is $1.4 billion up for grabs in the coming drawings — though the odds of winning remain extremely long. 

Mega Millions is played in 44 states, plus Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Contact Us