Mega Millions jackpot hits $1 billion

The Mega Millions jackpot grew on Friday to $1 billion -- the largest
amount in the game's history and the second-largest U.S. payout.

Lottery players will find out Friday at 11 p.m. if anyone will claim the
prize, which is getting close to the all-time lottery jackpot record --
a Powerball jackpot that paid out $1.59 billion in January 2016.

The Mega Millions pot has soared past the game's previous record, $656
million in 2012, and has continued to grow with each drawing.

The new $1 billion jackpot has a cash option of $565 million, before taxes.

No one has won the Mega Millions jackpot since July 24, when 11
co-workers in Santa Clara County, Calif., created a pool to share the
$543 million prize. That total was the fourth-largest in the game's

The country's other nationwide lottery contest, Powerball, grew Friday
afternoon to $470 million with a cash option of $268 million. A New York
man last won that jackpot in August.

Powerball will hold its next drawing Saturday night, when the jackpot could possibly grow larger.

If anyone is counting, that is $1.47 billion awaiting winners between the Mega Millions and Powerball pots.

"It's always a thrill to have both jackpots rolling, but there's an
extra spark now with Mega Millions reaching a new record," Gordon
Medenica, Mega Millions lead director and Maryland Lottery gaming
director, said in a statement this week.

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