mega millions

When Is the Next Mega Millions Drawing?

As the jackpot surges to $1.02 billion, here's how and when you can play

Mega Millions Connecticut
NBCConnecticut.com

Draw after draw, the Mega Millions jackpot has grown heftier and heftier.

After no winner was called in Tuesday's $830 million drawing, the elusive jackpot topped the $1 billion mark for just the third time in history — and it's still up for grabs.

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.

Players can try their luck at winning the big bucks — $1.02 billion to be exact— at the next drawing, which is set to take place at 10 p.m. Friday.

Ahead of Friday, here's what you need to know:

How Do You Win?

Players in the Mega Millions can either have five numbers randomly generated for them, or they can pick their own five numbers between 1-and-70, as well as a sixth number, 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?

Friday's jackpot, which stands at an estimated $1.02 billion, ranks as the second-largest lottery prize ever awarded in the United States.

Tuesday's jackpot -- which no one won -- of $830 million, ranked as the fourth-largest.

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 hit the $1 billion mark.

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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