Half a billion! Mega Millions drawing tonight is mega

With $510 million on the line, Friday’s Mega Millions jackpot is the second-largest of the year. In July, the jackpot surpassed $1 billion and created a frenzy before being claimed. The current prize is the 11th-largest in this lottery’s 20-year history.

The drawing will be held at 8 p.m. and streamed live on the Mega Millions YouTube page.

The odds of winning tonight’s jackpot are 1 in 303 million. Per the National Weather Service, an individual’s lifetime odds of being struck twice by lightning are 1 in 234 million — so, more likely than winning the jackpot.

The North American Assn. of State and Provincial Lotteries says that Americans spent more than $100 billion on lottery products in 2021. The Mega Millions funds remaining after payouts are split among the 45 states that participate plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The association also cites a study by software company Vision Critical (now called Alida) showing that nearly a quarter of American lottery players — 23% — have incomes under $25,000. In California, a two-person household at that income level qualifies for Medi-Cal.

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