The last Mega Millions drawing of the month will take place Friday night, and the 13th-biggest prize in the game’s history will be on the line.
Hours before the 8 p.m. draw, the jackpot was worth an estimated $421 million, with a cash value of $290.9 million. The grand prize rose another $25 million after no ticket matched every number in Tuesday’s game.
“It’s always exciting when our jackpots grow this big, particularly because higher jackpots fuel higher sales, which – in turn – translates into more money for California’s public schools,” California Lottery Deputy Director of Public Affairs Carolyn Becker said.
The current jackpot is the highest since it reached $431 million, though that was still even well below the largest in 2021: an astronomical $1.05 billion that was won about a year and a week ago.
California has had somewhat of a lucky streak this year though when it comes to lottery players winning big prizes. On Jan. 5, someone purchased one of the two tickets that matched all six numbers to split a massive $632 million Powerball jackpot, the seventh-largest in that game’s history.
Days later, a SuperLotto player who purchased their ticket in Moreno Valley won a $13-million jackpot.
And multiple Scratchers players have won prizes of at least $1 million across the state, including two worth $5 million in Los Angeles County.
Still, Mega Millions players face incredibly long odds to actually match all six numbers and hit the jackpot: roughly 1 in 302.5 million, according to the game’s website. And to win $1 million, players face steep odds of about 1 in 12.6 million.
Mega Millions is played in 45 states, plus Washington D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Drawings are held Tuesdays and Fridays at 8 p.m., and in California, ticket sales end 15 minutes prior to the numbers being picked.