It's the second largest lottery jackpot in USA history, passed only by the $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot won on January 13, 2016 (California, Florida, and Tennessee).
Lottery officials raised the estimated prize Thursday, two days after no one picked the winning numbers.
"The lottery officials who run Mega Millions tweaked the rules and odds of the game in October previous year to make jackpots pay out less frequently, spurring their monster growth", Ascienzo, who has studied lottery ticket purchase data from 2012 to 2018, tells FOX Business.
That means the jackpot for Friday's drawing is now at least $970 million, or a cash lump sum of $548.6 million, and the number will just keep climbing until some lucky person (who will most likely not be you) hits it big.
The numbers drawn were: 03-57-64-68-69 and the Powerball number was 15.
Appliance giants Whirlpool and Frigidaire among top unsecured creditors in Sears bankruptcy
It listed $6.9 billion in assets and $11.3 billion in liabilities in documents filed in the bankruptcy court, Reuters reported . Lampert, the company's largest shareholder, has stepped down as CEO but will remain chairman of the board.
N.C. officials said that in Tuesday's drawing, 93,726 tickets sold in North Carolina won a prize, ranging from $2 to $10,000. According to a release from Mega Millions, the last Mega Millions jackpot was won July 24, netting 11 co-workers a combined $543 million. Most winners take the cash option, which would pay more than half a billion dollars after taxes, or an annuity, with one initial payment and annual installments over 29 years.
He calls these gamblers "infrequent players", and their participation helps boost jackpots to historic levels, he said.
The Florida Lottery is issuing a warning about an email scam claiming to be from Mega Millions. The next drawing is Friday.
The Maine lottery, for example, has a Mega Millions deadline of 9:50 p.m. ET on the day of each drawing. For instance, a KPCC/LAist investigation in California "found contributions to education by the lottery are essentially unchanged from 12 years ago, even though revenues are up by billions".