Mega Millions jackpot grows, $297 million up for grabs


Mega Millions is seeing the biggest jackpot in nearly two years this week, with the pot reaching $297 million for Friday night’s drawing with the cash option worth $157 million.

Changes made in October to the Mega Millions game drastically lowered people’s chances of winning; the minimum jackpot was elevated to $15 million, the minimum increase of a pot rose to $5 million, and the second-place winner will now receive a minimum of $1 million. More numbers were added to the list of possible digits to play, with the number of white balls increasing to 75 and the number of gold balls (Mega Ball) decreasing to 15.

The changes put into effect lowered a player’s odds for a win from 1-in-175 million to 1-in-259 million.

No one hit the jackpot in Tuesday’s Mega Millions drawing. The winning numbers were: 7, 12, 41, 44 and 59, with a Mega Ball of 3. The Powerball jackpot for Saturday is $100 million.

The two lottery games share the same  43 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands for identical territories.

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