Friday’s Mega Millions US lottery jackpot topped the $1 billion mark, making it the fourth-largest win ever, its organizer announced Wednesday.
The jackpot for this lottery has been increasing for more than three months, as are the dreams of its players, since no one has managed to guess the correct six numbers in 29 previous draws.
On Friday, just over $1 billion will be at stake, according to a press release from Mega Millions.
The group said that after Tuesday night’s draw, an influx of players eager to see if they were too rich caused Mega Millions to crash for about two hours.
Chances of winning this tempting sum are only 1 in approximately 303 million. For comparison, the probability of being struck by lightning is 1 in 1 million, according to data from US health authorities.
The biggest win ever was $1.586 billion. It was won in January 2016 in the other major American lottery, Powerball, but the spoils were split between three winners.
The $1 billion given on Friday represents what the lucky winner would receive if he agreed to extend the payment over 30 years.
If he wanted to receive his prize all at once, he would only receive a modest amount of 603 million—part of which would then be deducted from taxes—at the discretion of Mega Millions.
Mega Millions was created in 2002. Its formula was modified several times to reduce the probability of winning the jackpot, which made it possible to regularly increase the jackpot to several hundred million dollars.
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