The increase comes two days after no ticket matched all six winning numbers drawn Tuesday night and dwarfs the Powerball $430 million jackpot up for grabs when those numbers are chosen around 11 p.m. ET Saturday night. It's the second largest US jackpot ever, but experts say the higher the payout, the more seem to people buy in, but the less of a chance you have to take home the full amount. "If you have not purchased a Mega Millions ticket, you can not win a prize", they say.
The email features the Mega Millions logo as part of the letterhead, and states that the recipient was among a group of randomly selected people to participate in an ongoing drawing. They're stuck at a miserable one in 302.5 million.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report. And one of those, sold in Texas, had the Megaplier option, available in most states for an extra $1.
With the odds as low as they are and the jackpot is as high as it is, some are saying, "Why not?"
And then there's Friday's monster Mega Millions drawing, the largest in the game's history.More news: Audio recording emerges of 'murder' of Saudi journalist
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The average American spends about $223 per year on lottery tickets, according to a survey from LENDedu. Players get five numbers from 1 to 70 and one Mega number between 1 and 25.
Officials were anxious that the relatively smaller but more frequent prizes - a "paltry" $100 million, for instance - would result in "jackpot fatigue", which is why they tweaked the game past year, Medenica said.
The jackpot goes to a victor who matches the five numbers and the Powerball number.
Those numbers are 03-57-64-68-69 Powerball 15 and Powerplay 3X.
The Maine lottery, for example, has a Mega Millions deadline of 9:50 p.m. ET on the day of each drawing.