ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Mega Millions jackpot has risen to an estimated $720 million after no winning ticket was sold — again. It’s now one of two national lotteries with enormous jackpots but equally enormous odds against winning them.
No ticket for Tuesday’s Mega Millions drawing matched the white balls 19, 22, 31, 37, 54 and the gold Mega Ball 18.
The new jackpot is Mega Millions’ fifth largest, the lottery said in a news release. On Monday, the nation’s other big lottery game — Powerball — also went without a winner, and its jackpot now stands at an estimated $1 billion, the third largest for that game.
For Mega Millions, the estimated $720 million jackpot in the next drawing would only be distributed to a winner who chooses an annuity paid over 29 years. Nearly all grand prize winners opt to take a cash payout, which for Friday night’s drawing is an estimated $369.6 million.
Despite the game’s long odds of 1 in 302.6 million, players continue to purchase tickets as the size of the grand prize grows.
The last time a Mega Millions player hit the top prize was April 18.
Mega Millions is played in 45 states as well as in Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
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The story has been updated to correct that the new jackpot is Mega Millions’ fifth largest, not seventh largest, and to correct that the estimated $369.6 million cash payout would be for Friday’s drawing, not Tuesday’s.