Lottery players will have a shot Friday night at an estimated $1.25 billion Mega Millions jackpot that has been growing ever larger after months without a grand prize winner.
There have been 30 straight drawings since the last time someone won the game’s jackpot on April 18. That has enabled the prize to steadily grow until it is now the sixth-largest ever in the U.S.
The jackpot is so hard to win because of the 1-in-302.6 million odds of matching the numbers on five white balls and a separate mega ball. The odds are better to win smaller prizes, which start at $2.
The $1.25 billion prize is for a sole winner who is paid over 30 years through an annuity. Those who opt for a lump sum payout would get an estimated $625.3 million.
A big slice of those winnings would go toward federal taxes, and many states also tax lottery payouts.
Mega Millions is played in 45 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.