Mega Millions jackpot climbs to $1.6 billion, the largest lottery jackpot ever

Posted October 22, 2018

The chances of winning the Mega Millions lottery are one in 302.6 million, and the odds to win Saturday's Powerball drawing are one in 292.2 million. It's the largest jackpot ever, edging past a 2016 Powerball drawing that held the previous record for $1.586 billion.

Friday's drawing is the second-largest lottery pool ever in USA history, topped only by the $1.59 billion Powerball award in 2016.

If you've won less than $600, you can turn in your winning ticket at a lottery retailer in exchange for cash, according to Mega Millions' website.

No one has won the Mega Millions jackpot since July 24, when a group of 11 workers in California split $543 million.

Mega Millions tickets are sold in 44 states as well as Washington, D.C., and the Virgin Islands.

"We passed the jackpot sign and saw the '6-5-4, ' " Lucas told lottery officials after claiming his prize at lottery headquarters in Raleigh Tuesday, according to an NC Education Lottery news release.

You must match all five numbers plus the Mega number to win the grand prize.

Since Mega Millions changed the jackpot rules in October 2017, we can expect a better chance that the jackpots will get bigger and bigger and break more records over time. The jackpot has been growing since then.

Lottery fever is running rampant, and North Carolina players have as good a chance as anyone at winning the games. If no one wins, the jackpot will be even larger for Tuesday's drawing.

The prize was shared by winners in Kansas, Illinois and Maryland.

USA lottery winnings are taxable at the federal level, unlike in many other countries, while some states also impose local taxes.

Each Powerball ticket is $2. The second-biggest jackpot in USA history was also in the Powerball draw, a $758.7m prize won in August 2017 by a hospital worker in MA.