Mega Millions $1,280,000,000 jackpot grows to be second-largest ever ahead of drawing Friday night

The jackpot will be drawn at 11pm EST Friday (Pictures: Reuters/AP)

The Mega Millions jackpot has grown to $1,280,000,000 billion, the second-largest grand prize in the game’s 25-year history and the third-largest of any US lottery game.

At just $2 a ticket, people may be tempted to bet their luck — but according to Mega Millions, there’s about a one in 303 million chance of winning when the lucky numbers are drawn Friday night at 11pm EST.

The current jackpot began back in April, and while a few people have come close to taking home the prize, no one has been able to match all of the game’s six numbers.

Only players who get their winnings through an annuity, paid annually over 29 years, will receive the total $1.28 billion. Nearly all winners of the game accept the prize in cash, which for Friday would equal a still-massive $742.2 million.

Currently, the record jackpot for Mega Millions is $1.537 billion, which was won in 2018. That winning ticket was sold in South Carolina, and is the largest lottery prize ever won on a single ticket in the entire world.

The largest jackpot of any US lottery game was won in 2016, and split among winners in California, Florida and Tennessee. That Powerball game was worth a whopping $1.586 billion.

Mega Millions jackpots begin at $20 million and become larger depending on game sales and interest rates. Four Mega Millions jackpots have been won so far this year in California, New York, Minnesota and Tennessee.

Mega Millions tickets are sold in 45 states, Washington DC and the US Virgin Islands. Half of the proceeds from the sale of each ticket remains in the state where the ticket is sold, and with larger grand prizes state officials look to receive greater funding for their causes.

Earlier this week, the fast food chain — one for each of the company’s employees.

At the time of the purchase, the jackpot total was only $810million, but the company had no success. Since the grand prize grew in size, the restaurant’s leadership decided to once again purchase tickets for its staff ahead of Friday night’s drawing.

If Raising Cane’s won the jackpot’s cash payout option, the company’s employees would each receive nearly $13,000, according to the .

Six winning numbers will be pulled at 11pm EST Friday.

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