Mega Millions lottery jackpot reaches record-breaking $1.6 billion prize

Irving Hamilton
October 21, 2018

The U.S. Mega Millions jackpot grew to $1.6 billion, a world record for a lottery, after Friday's drawing produced no victor of the grand prize, officials said.

Saturday's Powerball numbers are: 16-54-57-62-69 and Powerball: 23.

This week's billion-dollar haul includes the largest prize in USA lottery history. The victor can also opt for a cash prize of more than $354 million, from which the federal government will take 25% right away, and more later.

In 2016, a $1.58 billion Powerball prize was split three ways by ticket holders from California, Florida and Tennessee.

As more tickets sell before the draw on Tuesday, chances grow that at least one buyer will pick all six winning numbers.

The Mega Millions lottery may see a streak of jackpot rollovers end as it heads toward a record $1.6 billion drawing on Tuesday. Many hopefuls haven't played before.

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Based on sales projections, 75 per cent of the 302 million possible combinations will be chosen for the draw, up from 59.1 per cent in Friday's, Carole Gentry, spokeswoman for Maryland Lottery and Gaming, said.

The nation's largest lottery jackpots have now rolled for a few months.

The 24 semi-weekly Mega Millions draws have failed to produce a top victor since July 24, when an 11-member office pool in Santa Clara County, California, hit a £415million ($543m) jackpot.

In that time 26 people have won $1 million for matching every number but the Powerball. The games are played in 44 states, Washington D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

When lottery officials changed the Mega Millions rules in October 2017 to shrink the odds of winning and increase ticket prices to $2 from $1, then-Mega Millions president Debbie Alford said the innovations would deliver "attention-grabbing jackpots" and generate increased revenues.

This content was republished with permission from CNN.

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