Mega Millions Jackpot Will Be At Least $1.6 Billion This Tuesday Night!

Update 10/24: There’s a winner! A single ticket was won in South Carolina!

Update 10/23: Next Mega Millions drawing is tonight with the jackpot being at least $1.6 Billion!

Interesting stat from CBS News: The dismal odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot – 1 in 302.5 million – mean there are 302.5 million potential number combinations, or a little less than one combination for each of the 328 million people living in the U.S. For last Friday’s drawing, about 59 percent of possible combinations were taken. But by Tuesday night’s drawing, officials estimate that 75 percent will be sold.

That would mean a 25 percent chance of no winner. If that happens, it’s likely even more combinations would be covered before the next drawing three days later. Officials don’t have an estimate on how many tickets would be sold for that potential drawing, and they haven’t said how large the estimated prize would be. Could it reach $2 billion?

From USA Today:

The $970 million Mega Millions jackpot will be up for grabs Friday night, after ballooning from $868 million Wednesday morning.

Do you think you have the lucky numbers? USA TODAY answers your questions about the historic lottery drawing:

What time is the Mega Millions? 

The Mega Millions drawing will be 11 p.m. ET on Friday in Atlanta, Georgia at the WSB-TV studios. If you’re not on the East Coast, that’s 10 p.m. CT, 9 p.m. MT and 8 p.m. PT.

You have a few options if you want to watch for your numbers. The drawing will be broadcast live to different news affiliates, so check your local listings to see what channel to flip to Friday night. You can also check the Mega Millions website or download the app.

Is this the largest lottery winning ever?

At $970 million, this is the largest Mega Millions jackpot ever, but it isn’t the largest lottery winning ever.

The largest lottery jackpot in United States history was $1.6 billion from a Powerball game in January 2016. The former record holder for Mega Millions was a $656 million prize in 2012. The prize was split three ways in both of these drawings, with each winner receiving at least $200 million – before taxes, of course.

Wasn’t there a drawing on Tuesday? 

There was a drawing Tuesday night, but nobody guessed all six numbers. Tuesday’s winning numbers? 3, 45, 49, 61, 69, and 9.

One person did receive a $1.9 million prize Tuesday for guessing five of the six total numbers correctly at a Safeway grocery store in San Francisco.

If nobody claims the Mega Millions jackpot in the required time limit – which varies state by state – each state will get the money it contributed to the jackpot back. For example, in Virginia you have 180 days to claim the prize, otherwise profits go to K-12 education.

How late can you buy a ticket for Mega Millions? 

You can buy a Mega Millions ticket until 10:45 on drawing night in 39 of the 42 states that allow the Mega Millions game. In Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, the last tickets will be sold at 9:50 p.m. ET, according to Fox News.

If you live in Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina or North Dakota, you can buy a Mega Millions ticket online if you have registered with the lotteries of those states, according to the Mega Millions website. If you live in New Hampshire, New York, or Virginia, you can purchase a subscription for Mega Millions online.

Otherwise, head over to your local convenience store or supermarket to pick your lucky numbers in person.

What are the odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot? 

Not great. The odds were 302,575,350 to 1 as of Thursday, according to Chris O’Byrne, a management information systems lecturer at San Diego State University.

“There’s over 300 million people in the United States,” O’Byrne said. “Obviously you have to play in the game to win, but if you think about it in that aspect it’s like picking the right person in the entire United States.”

Why do people play, then? Even when the odds are low, it’s all about hope.