The third-largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history will be on the line Friday after no tickets were sold with all six numbers in the multi-state Mega Millions game for 29 consecutive draws.
The estimated $1.1 billion jackpot is the largest since the record $1.586 billion jackpot for the Jan. 13, 2016, Powerball draw. The $1.537 billion jackpot for the Oct. 23, 2018, Mega Millions game is second.
The odds of matching all five numbers and the Mega number are 1 in 302,575,350, according to the California Lottery. The overall chance of winning a prize is 1 in 24.
Ticket sales end at 7 p.m. with the draw set for 8 p.m.
Buying tickets at a store where tickets with large jackpots have been sold in the past will not increase a purchaser’s chance of winning a jackpot, according to USC mathematics professor Ken Alexander.
“The chance that a given place will sell a winning lottery ticket is just related to how many tickets they sell,” Alexander told City News Service.
However, players wanting a better chance of avoiding sharing the jackpot should choose numbers that aren’t selected as often, Alexander said. Lottery players frequently choose the date of their birthdays as one of their numbers, so numbers higher than 31 would be played less, he said.