There have been 24 drawings without a jackpot winner, stretching back for more than two months. The winless streak is largely due to the game’s long odds of 1 in 302.6 million.
The new estimated prize of $1.1 billion is for a winner who chooses an annuity paid annually over 29 years. Grand prize winners usually take the cash option, which for Tuesday night’s drawing will be an estimated $568.7 million.
“Mega Millions has just reached the $1 billion mark again. It’s especially nice to see the jackpot grow throughout the holidays and into the new year,” Pat McDonald, the Ohio lottery director and lead director of the Mega Millions Consortium, said in a statement early Saturday. “As the jackpot grows, we encourage our players to keep within their entertainment budget and enjoy this jackpot run right along with us.”
The only Mega Millions jackpots larger than the estimated $1.1 billion opportunity on Tuesday have been the $1.53 billion won in South Carolina in 2018 and $1.33 billion winning ticket in Illinois in July, Mega Millions said in the statement.
Elijah Kouza, assistant manager of Buscemi’s convenience store in Livonia, Michigan, said the Mega Millions jackpot drew numerous customers before Friday night’s draw. The $940 million prize was prominently advertised at the store and Kouza expected far more Mega Millions ticket sales than the 20 to 25 normally sold on a Friday.
“It’s kind of hilarious to me, because if it’s like $100 million, people are like, ‘Nah.’ They’ll pass,” he said.
Mega Millions is played in 45 states as well as in Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.