Sun, 18 Aug 2019

Mega Millions jackpot increased to $1 billion

20 Oct 2018, 05:55 GMT+10

Washington D.C. [USA], Oct 20 (ANI): Lucky ticket-holders now have the chance of winning a whopping USD 1 billion, after a snowball increase in Mega Millions prize money for Friday's (local time) draw.

The eye-popping figure is the result of a prize rollover which has been prompted by no prize-winners from Tuesday's draw that had USD 667 million up for grabs.

Winning the USD 1 billion on Friday will hold its pride of place as the second-largest jackpot in the US' history, right after the 2016 Powerball jackpot which saw USD 1.58 billion being split between three winners, according to The Washington Post.

Furthermore, no winners on Friday will lead to the prize ballooning to an estimated USD 1.6 billion, which will be up for grabs on the next draw, slated to be held on Tuesday, officials predict.

The massive figures are the result of a recent change in Mega Millions lotto rules, which were tweaked in October last year to ward off a "jackpot fatigue".

Gordon Medenica, Maryland's lottery, and gaming director said, "Ultimately, these games, they're all about the jackpots."

Another contributing factor to the mega figure is an increase in Mega Millions tickets, which now cost USD 2 per coupon.

The new formula now allows players to pick one 'Mega' number between 1 to 25, and five numbers between 1 to 70. The odds of hitting the lotto are 1 in 302,575,350, after the tweaks.

Medenica said, "It's exciting to see people across the country buying their tickets and joining in the fun. Hitting the USD 1 billion mark for the first time is historic, and we can't wait to meet the winner(s) who will share in that history."

A USD 543 million jackpot was claimed by an office pool in Silicon Valley on July 24 this year, resetting the bonanza to USD 40 million, which has now ballooned into a staggering USD 1 billion. (ANI)

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