Mega Millions jackpot reaches $1 billion as drawing nears


    A man walks past Mega Millions and other lottery displays outside of The Lucky Spot in San Francisco, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018. The Mega Millions jackpot has climbed to $970 million, inching ever-closer to the $1 billion mark. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

    The Mega Millions jackpot has soared to $1 billion, as the second-largest lottery prize in U.S. lottery history gets even bigger.

    Lottery officials increased the grand prize just hours ahead of the Friday night drawing. The prize climbed from $970 million.

    Although the jackpot keeps increasing , the odds of winning remain stuck at a miserable one in 302.5 million.

    The prize has grown so large because no one has hit the jackpot since July 24, when a group in California won $543 million.

    The $1 billion prize refers to the annuity option. Most winners opt for cash, which for Friday night's drawing would be $565 million.

    Officials say that if there isn't a winner, the prize for Tuesday night's drawing would be $1.6 billion, tying the largest U.S. lottery prize.

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