Mega Millions Jackpot Hits $521 Million Ahead of Friday Night Drawing

Breaking news update, 8:35 p.m. PT: Friday’s winning numbers are 11, 28, 31, 46, 59 with the Mega number 1, California Lottery officials said. 

Previous story published at 11:05 a.m. PT: 

Hours before the next scheduled Mega Millions drawing Friday night, the jackpot climbed to a staggering $521 million, making it one of the largest lottery prize’s ever in the U.S.

The pot rolled over to $502 million after there were no grand prize winners in the last drawing on Tuesday. By Friday morning, it had climbed an additional $18 million, according to California Lottery officials.

The new total makes it the tenth largest lottery jackpot in the U.S. and marks just the fourth time in the game’s history that the prize has climbed above half a billion dollars.

“Jackpot rolls are always exciting, but surpassing the $500 million mark for only the fourth time is a historic milestone,” Gordon Medenica, Mega Millions lead director, said in a statement.

In fact, only two Mega Millions jackpots have been bigger: A $656 million prize that, coincidentally, was won exactly six years ago Friday, on March 30, 2012; and a $536 million prize won in July 2016.

Since then, however, new rules have been put in place to make it harder to win Mega Millions.

The first major jackpot since the change was enacted in October was won back in January, when a single-winning ticket sold in Florida garnered a lucky 20-year-old a $450-million prize.

That’s the last time though that someone has matched all five white balls and the gold Mega Ball to win the jackpot.

If one person wins on Friday night, they’d have the option to take a lump-sum estimate of $317.2 million, according to California lottery officials.

But if no one wins, the jackpot is expected to roll over to at least $612 million for the next drawing on Tuesday.

“Large jackpots like this one capture everyone’s attention, and it would be great to see the roll go on for a while longer,” Medenica said of the latest drawing. “But at the same time, we can’t wait to see someone win.”