Mega Millions hits $660 million for Friday drawing, 3rd largest jackpot ever

FILE IMAGE - Mega Millions lottery tickets are sold at a 7-Eleven store in the Loop on Jan. 22, 2021, in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo Illustration by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The Mega Millions jackpot has grown to an estimated $660 million ahead of Friday night’s drawing, a prize that is now the third largest in the game’s history. 

Following Tuesday’s drawing, in which no one matched all six numbers to win big, the Mega Millions prize continued to climb — and now has a $376.9 million cash option, too. 

Only two billion-dollar jackpots have ever been higher: $1.537 billion won in South Carolina in October 2018, and $1.050 billion won in Michigan in January 2021, lottery officials said.

The next drawing is Friday, July 22 at 11 p.m. ET. 

Tuesday night’s numbers, which were 2, 31, 32, 37, and 70, plus the gold Mega Ball 25, did bring some second and third prize winners. Four tickets sold in Arizona, California, New Hampshire, and North Carolina matched the five white balls to win the Mega Millions second prize of $1 million.

Fifty-two tickets matched four white balls plus the Mega Ball to win the game’s third prize of $10,000 for each winner. Officials said 11 of those tickets were actually worth $30,000 each because they also included the optional Megaplier — a $1 extra purchase available in most states — which was 3X on Tuesday night.

Four Mega Millions jackpots have been won to date in 2022, lottery officials said. 

Most recently, $20 million was won in Tennessee on April 15. A $426 million prize was won in California on Jan. 28, followed by $128 million in New York on March 8 and $110 million in Minnesota on April 12. 

How to play, odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot

Mega Millions drawings are held Tuesday and Friday at 11 p.m. ET. Five white balls are drawn from a set of balls numbered 1 through 70, and one gold Mega Ball is drawn from a set of balls numbered 1 through 25. Players win if the numbers on one row of a ticket match the numbers of the balls drawn on that date. 

Mega Millions tickets cost $2 per play. Players win the jackpot by matching all six numbers in a drawing. If no one wins the jackpot, the money is added to the jackpot for the next drawing. 

For those lucky enough to become a Mega Millions jackpot winner, they get the choice of a cash option or an annual payout. The annuity option means getting an initial payment followed by 29 annual payments, and each payment is 5% larger than the previous one. For those that select the cash option, they receive a one-time, lump-sum payment that is equal to all the cash in the Mega Millions jackpot prize pool after taxes. 

The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot prize is roughly 1 in 302,575,350, lottery officials said. But a player’s overall chance of winning any prize is 1 in 24.

This story was reported from Cincinnati.