Dreaming of becoming a multi-millionaire? Well, you've got just hours left today to buy a ticket, or tickets, for the estimated $540 million Mega Millions lottery jackpot.
Ticket sales for the historic jackpot close at 10:45 p.m. today.
According to the Connecticut Lottery website, Mega Millions ticket sales close at 11 p.m. on days when the winning numbers aren't being drawn. On drawing days, sales close at 10:45 p.m. The drawing is held at 11 p.m., and the results are broadcast just before 11:30 p.m.
The Mega Millions has reached historic proportions this week. With no jackpot winner in this past Tuesday’s drawing, the jackpot for Friday grew to its current estimate of $540 million. This is the largest lottery jackpot in world history, surpassing the previous record of $390 million.
If one ticket matches all six numbers for the half-billion dollar mega-jackpot, the winner would have the choice of receiving the full jackpot in 26 annual payments of about $20.7 million, or a cash option of approximately $389.8 million.
“Friday night’s Mega Millions drawing will truly be a spectacular event in lottery history and provides an unprecedented opportunity for players to take a chance on a half-billion dollar dream for just the $1 price of a ticket,” said Gary Grief, executive director of the Texas Lottery and lead director for the Mega Millions group.
More than 4.7 million tickets won prizes in Tuesday’s drawing, including four tickets that each won $1 million and 43 tickets that each won $250,000.
The jackpot for Friday’s drawing was originally estimated at $476 million, but with stronger than anticipated sales nationwide, it became clear that the jackpot would be much larger.
This jackpot has been growing since Jan. 24, when Mega Millions had its most recent jackpot winner. The jackpot has now rolled 18 times without a winner. The odds of winning the jackpot are approximately one in 176 million. The odds of winning any of the Mega Millions prizes are approximately 1 in 40. Mega Millions is played in 44 jurisdictions (42 states plus the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands). Drawings are held Tuesdays and Fridays at 11 p.m.
The Connecticut Lottery Corporation reminds consumers across the state to "Play Responsibly" and "Know Your Limits."
"While Lottery games are fun and entertaining, it is important that consumers use good judgment when playing games of chance," stated Anne M. Noble, President and CEO of the CT Lottery. "The public must be conscious and aware of the risks of problem gambling, and at the Lottery we make it our priority to educate consumers about responsible play."
To see the top 10 Mega Millions jackpots, click here.
More than $50 billion was spent on lottery tickets in the U.S. in 2010, while prizes totaled $32.8 billion. Which states gave ticket buyers the biggest bang for the buck? See the attached pdf.