As a result of brisk ticket sales, lottery officials announced today that the Mega Millions jackpot has been bumped from $476 million to a staggering $500 million for Friday's drawing. This is the largest lottery jackpot in North American history.
The Mega Millions jackpot has rolled 18 times since Marcia Adams of College Park won $72 million in the Jan. 24 drawing.
Mega Millions offers two jackpot payment options: approximately $19.2 million a year for 26 years with the annuity option; or a single payment worth approximately $359 million with the cash option.
Mega Millions tickets are $1 per play. Players can multiply prizes with the Megaplier option for an additional $1 per play.
As with all other Georgia Lottery games, proceeds from Mega Millions will benefit education in the state of Georgia.
Since its first year, the Georgia Lottery Corp. has returned more than $13.1 billion to the state of Georgia for education. All Georgia Lottery profits go to pay for specific educational programs, including Georgia's HOPE Scholarship Program and Georgia's Pre-K Program. More than 1.4 million students have received HOPE, and more than 1.1 million 4-year-olds have attended the statewide, voluntary prekindergarten program.
MEGA MILLIONS FAST FACTS
Draw Date: March 30, 2012
Estimated Jackpot Amount: $500 million
Annuity Amount: Approximately $19.2 million a year for 26 years
Cash Option Amount: Approximately $359 million
Cost to Play: $1 per play; additional $1 per play for Megaplier
Drawings: 11 p.m. (ET) every Tuesday and Friday
Overall Odds of Winning Any Prize: Approximately 1:40
Odds of Winning Jackpot Prize: Approximately 1:175 million
Date Jackpot Began Rolling: Jan. 27, 2012
Number of Rolls: 18
Last Winning Jackpot Ticket: Jan. 24, 2012; $72 million Atlanta winner
Largest North American Lottery Jackpot: Current jackpot
Previous Largest North American Jackpot: March 6, 2007; Mega Millions $390 million; 2 winners - Ga./N.J.
For more information on the Georgia Lottery Corp. and Mega Millions, please visit:
www.galottery.com, www.lotterybenefitsgeorgians.com and www.megamillions.com