Mega Millions jackpot soars to $900 million, second-highest

The previous record for the game's top prize was $656 million, split among three winners in 2012, while the largest jackpot in US history was a $1.5 billion Powerball haul in 2016.

Lottery officials raised the estimated prize Thursday, two days after no one picked the winning numbers.

Each of the 24 semi-weekly drawings have failed to produce a top victor since July 24, when an 11-member group of employees at a Wells Fargo branch in Santa Clara County, California, won a $US543 million Mega Millions jackpot.

No one has matched all six numbers and won the Mega Millions grand prize since July 24.

And while ticket sales have largely contributed to its big cash stockpile, increasing 294 percent since the pot crossed the $550 million mark, according to data scientist David Ascienzo, there has also been a major tweak to the game that has caused jackpots to balloon in recent months.

The numbers drawn were: 03-57-64-68-69 and the Powerball number was 15. They say the estimated cash value for Friday's jackpot is $548.6 million.

Every lottery ticket buyer believes that, and why not? "The way you want to think about it is that there are set amount of numbers in the game, and it's you against probability, not against the other players". About half of the jackpot winnings would go to taxes.

Three tickets sold in North Carolina were among the 100 $10,000 winners nationwide, lottery officials said. For instance, a KPCC/LAist investigation in California "found contributions to education by the lottery are essentially unchanged from 12 years ago, even though revenues are up by billions".

  • Eleanor Harrison