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Mega Millions: Drawing Time, Jackpot Information, How to Win and More

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One of the largest lottery prizes in United States history could be won this week, as the Mega Millions jackpot has soared to more than $800 million.

The Mega Millions, one of two major lottery games in the United States, allows players in 45 different states and several other U.S. territories to get a chance at large jackpots, and this week's game is no exception, ranking as one of the top-five prizes ever awarded if a lucky winner matches the numbers in the game.

Here's what you need to know about Mega Millions:

When is the Drawing?

The drawings for Mega Millions take place every Tuesday and Friday night at 10 p.m. Central time.

How Do You Win?

Players in the Mega Millions can either have numbers randomly generated for them, or they can pick their own numbers between 1-and-70, as well as a “Mega Ball.”

If a player matches all five of their numbers and the “Mega Ball,” then they would walk away with the jackpot in the drawing.

Of course, the jackpot isn’t the only prize available in the game.

If a player matches all five numbers, but not the “Mega Ball,” then they would win $1 million, according to officials.

Matching four numbers plus the “Mega Ball” would net the player $10,000. Matching four numbers without the “Mega Ball” would earn the player a $500 prize.

Matching three numbers and the “Mega Ball” is worth $200.

Matching three numbers, or matching two numbers and the “Mega Ball,” will win a player $10.

Matching one number and the “Mega Ball” is worth $4, and matching the “Mega Ball” is worth a $2 prize.

Players in Illinois also have the option of adding a $1 “Megaplier” to their $2 ticket. That would double the value of any non-jackpot prize, including matching the five numbers in the drawing.

What Are the Odds of Winning?

According to officials, the odds of matching all five numbers and the "Mega Ball" number are 1-in-303 million.

By comparison, some estimates hold that you have a 1-in-9 million chance of being struck by lightning on two separate occasions.

Where Does This Jackpot Rank Among the Largest of All-Time?

Tonight’s jackpot, which stands at an estimated $830 million, would rank as the fourth-largest lottery prize ever awarded in the United States if a player wins.

The only prizes that were larger were all worth at least $1 billion, including the all-time record jackpot of nearly $1.6 billion in a Jan. 2016 Powerball drawing.

The Mega Millions drawings in Oct. 2018 ($1.5 billion) and Jan. 2021 ($1 billion) are the only other two jackpots to exceed this week’s prize in the Mega Millions.

How Can I Buy Tickets?

Tickets cost $2, and can be purchased at thousands of retailers throughout Illinois and Indiana.

Locally, the Illinois Lottery website and app also allows players to purchase tickets online.

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