Friday's top prize is now the second largest jackpot in the game's history and the third largest for any lottery game in the nation. The cash option would be $648.2 million.
Nobody won Tuesday night's $830 million Mega Millions jackpot, which initially sent the estimated jackpot for Friday to $1.02 billion, before it was announced Thursday that it had grown even higher. It's possible Friday's jackpot could grow even more with the expected surge in ticket sales.
The winning numbers for Tuesday drawing were 7-29-60-63-66 with a gold Mega Ball 15. Nine tickets matched all five numbers but not the Mega Ball, for at least a $1 million prize, but nobody matched all six. One ticket bought in Ohio matched all five and had purchased the Megaplier feature, which tripled their prize to $3 million.
Heavy traffic crashed the Mega Millions website temporarily Tuesday evening as people checked to see if they had a winning ticket. The lottery described the website traffic Tuesday following the results as "more than any in the history of megamillions.com"
As things stand now, only a $1.537 billion jackpot has been higher for Mega Millions. That winning ticket remains the world's largest lottery prize ever won by a single ticket, according to the lottery's announcement.
The prize money has quickly climbed in the last couple of weeks thanks to growing excitement and strong sales, but the odds of winning remain the same — a staggering one in 302.5 million. You have better odds of a smaller payoff, like winning $1 million for matching five regular numbers but missing the Mega Ball. Even that is one in 12.6 million.
In the game's 20-year history there have only ever been two other billion-dollar jackpots.
The world record for a jackpot remains $1.586 billion, which was a Powerball prize awarded in 2016.
Last year, a Mega Millions jackpot cracked the $1 billion mark for just the second time. A four-member suburban Detroit lottery club won that $1.05 billion jackpot and chose the lump sump, receiving $557 million after taxes.
The next Mega Millions drawing is on Friday, July 29 at 11 p.m. ET. The game is played on Tuesday and Friday nights in 45 states as well as Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Who decides the Mega Millions jackpot amount?
The lottery game is overseen by 45 state lotteries as well as game officials in Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. A group comprising representatives from the lotteries meets twice a week to determine the estimated jackpots.
What are the odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot?
Your chances of winning the jackpot always remain one in 302.5 million, regardless of whether the big prize is $20 million or the current $1.1 billion. You do increase your odds of winning if you buy more tickets but before laying down $100 at the Quicky Mart for 50 tries, keep in mind that in the big scheme of things, 50 chances out of 302.5 million isn’t much better than one. Also realize that the $1.1 billion amount is for the annuity option, paid annually over 29 years. The cash option would pay $648.2 million.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.