Mega Millions Jackpot Swells To Record $900 Million

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(CBSNews) —  The Mega Millions jackpot ballooned to a record high: $900 million for Friday (Oct. 19) night’s drawing. It’s the second-largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history. The increase comes a day after no ticket matched all six winning numbers drawn Tuesday night and dwarfs the Powerball $345 million jackpot up for grabs when those numbers are chosen 10 p.m. ET Wednesday (Oct. 17) night.

Tuesday’s Mega Millions winning numbers were 3, 45, 49, 61, 69 with a Mega Ball of 9 for a jackpot worth $667 million at the time. It had increased early Wednesday to $868 million and officials again raised the jackpot. They say the estimated cash value for Friday’s jackpot is $513 million.

If the winner chooses the annuity option, the jackpot would be paid out over 29 years. The cash option is usually favored by the winners.

The jackpot keeps swelling because nobody has won since July 24, when 11 workers in a California office shared $543 million, the largest prize ever won on a single ticket in the game.

Mega Millions says its previous record jackpot was a $656 million prize that was shared by winners from Kansas, Illinois and Maryland in March 2012.

“Everyone is talking about the jackpot and running out to buy tickets for tonight’s drawing,” Gordon Medenica, Mega Millions lead director and Maryland Lottery and Gaming director, said in a press release about Tuesday night’s suspense.

Nine Mega Millions tickets from Tuesday’s drawing matched five white balls to win the second prize – $1 million. And one of those, sold in Texas, had the Megaplier option, available in most states for an extra $1. That ticket is worth $5 million.