Mega Millions jackpot surges to $1.28B, but still not the biggest in US history

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The more than $1 billion Mega Millions lottery jackpot has officially become the second-largest prize in the 20-year history of Mega Millions ahead of Friday's drawing. 

If someone nabs the prize, now estimated at $1.28 billion, with a cash value of $747.2 million, they will also be taking home the third largest U.S. lottery prize in history. 

The pot had already surpassed the $1 billion mark on Tuesday after no one matched all six winning numbers. 

Friday's drawing will be the 30th drawing for the jackpot, which has grown exponentially since April 15. According to lottery officials, Mega Millions lottery jackpots start at $20 million and grow based on game sales and interest rates. 

MEGA MILLIONS JACKPOT SWELLS TO OVER $1B AFTER NO WINNER IN MASSIVE $830M DRAWING

The odds of winning are exceptionally steep — about 1 in 302,575,350 according to lottery officials — though someone will eventually win. 

A lottery ticket vending machine sits a convenience store, July 21, 2022, in Northbrook, Ill. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, file / AP Newsroom)

To date, the largest lottery jackpot ever won was $1.586 billion. There were three winning tickets that split the Powerball prize in January 2016. 

The largest Mega Millions jackpot reached $1.537 billion in October 2018. The winning ticket was sold in South Carolina, and, according to lottery officials, remains the world’s largest lottery prize ever won on a single ticket.

Here are the 10 largest U.S. lottery jackpots to date: 

1. $1.586 billion: January 2016 – Powerball

2. $1.537 billion: October 2018 – Mega Millions 

3. $1.28 billion (est.): July 2022 – Mega Millions 

4: $1.050 billion: January 2021 – Mega Millions 

5. $768.4 million: March 2019 – Powerball

6. $758.7 million: August 2017 – Powerball 

7. $731.1 million: January 2021 – Powerball

8. $699.8 million: October 2021 – Powerball

NUMBERS DRAWN IN $830 MILLION MEGA MILLIONS JACKPOT

9. $687.8 million: October 2018 – Powerball 

10. $656 million – March 2012 – Mega Millions

Here are the 10 largest Mega Millions lottery jackpots to date: 

1. $1.537 billion: October 2018 

2. $1.28 billion (est.): July 2022 

3: $1.050 billion: January 2021 

4. $656 million: March 2012 

5. $648 million: December 2013

6. $543 million: July 2018

7. $536 million: July 2016

8. $533 million: March 2018

9. $522 million: June 2019 

10. $516 million: May 2021

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