Friday night's Mega Millions jackpot has soared to $444 million, after more than two months of twice-weekly drawings with no winner.
To play Mega Millions, you pick six numbers from two different pools: five numbers from 1 to 70, and one number from 1 to 25, which is the Mega Ball.
It sounds simple enough, but the odds of matching all five numbers are 1 in 302,575,350, according to the New York State Lottery. That means you have a better chance of getting struck by lightning, dying from an asteroid strike or winning the Powerball jackpot, which currently sits at $350 million.
Or you might getting lucky and win a smaller prize by matching fewer numbers. Mega Millions splits its revenue between nine different prize levels, with the non-jackpot payouts ranging from $2 (the cost of a ticket) to $1 million. Here are the odds of winning one of the smaller prizes:
1st Prize, five matching numbers with Mega Ball: 1 in 302,575,350
2nd Prize, five matching numbers: 1 in 12,607,306
3rd Prize, four matching numbers with Mega Ball: 1 in 931,001
4th Prize, four matching numbers: 1 in 38,792
5th Prize, three matching numbers with Mega Ball: 1 in 14,547
6th Prize, three matching numbers: 1 in 606
7th Prize, two matching numbers with Mega Ball: 1 in 693
8th Prize, one matching number with Mega Ball: 1 in 89
9th Prize, just the Mega Ball: 1 in 37
These are worse odds than they were before October 2017, when lottery officials changed the rules to make the wins less frequent. That's one of the reasons why there's been so many high-valued — and highly publicized — jackpots over the past few years. The Mega Millions jackpot reached a staggering $1.537 billion in October 2018.
Mega Millions tickets cost $2 each. If there's no winner, the jackpot will keep growing.
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