Record-breaking Mega Millions jackpot nears $1 billion; hours left until Friday evening drawing

Money (Stock)

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Close to $1 billion are on the table in the record-breaking Mega Millions jackpot in the final hours before the Friday evening drawing.

The jackpot broke all previous Mega Millions records on Tuesday when it hit about $667 million.

With no winner, that jackpot reached $868 million Wednesday morning.

Now, by Friday morning, that jackpot struck $970 million or a cash lump sum of $548 million.

It will be the largest jackpot in the game’s history and the second largest in the U.S. lottery jackpot history.

The previous Mega Millions record was a $656 million jackpot that was split three ways in 2012.

This jackpot also stole the #2 spot as the second largest jackpot in United States history, but it’s still a long way from stealing the #1 spot.

The largest ever lottery jackpot in the United States was a $1.6 billion Powerball prize won in January 2016, according to the Associated Press. 

The Mega Millions jackpot broke its record after no ticket matched all the six numbers in the drawing Tuesday night. The winning numbers on Tuesday were 69, 45, 61, 3, 49, and the Mega Ball was 9.

“It’s so exciting for our players, and all of us, to see the Mega Millions jackpot getting so close to an all-time record level,” Gordon Medenica, the lead director of the Mega Millions Consortium, stated in a news release on Saturday.

He anticipated the possibility that the grand prize would increase again before the next drawing and, boy, was he right.

No one has won the Mega Millions jackpot since July 24, when a San Jose office pool of 11-co-workers matched all six numbers to split a $543 million prize.

Mega Millions isn’t the only large lottery prize up for grabs this week; the Powerball jackpot grew to a cool $430 million with a drawing on Saturday.

The Mega Millions drawing takes place at 11 p.m. Friday, while Powerball’s draw is slated for 11 p.m. Wednesday.