US lottery jackpot nears $1 billion, second largest on record

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Lotto officials say anyone who receives this email should not reply, and reminds players that you can not win a prize unless you have purchased a Mega Millions ticket. The winning numbers on Tuesday were 69, 45, 61, 3, 49, and the Mega Ball was 9.

Among the throngs dreaming of what to do with potential winnings was Erica Young, who works in the Manhattan hotel industry, and who made a decision to buy a ticket a day ahead of the drawing.

Lottery staff are headed to Lexington to execute a series of security checks at the retailer that sold the winning ticket.

A ticket in Lexington for last night's Powerball won the game's second prize of $1 million.

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"The lottery officials who run Mega Millions tweaked the rules and odds of the game in October a year ago to make jackpots pay out less frequently, spurring their monster growth", Ascienzo, who has studied lottery ticket purchase data from 2012 to 2018, tells FOX Business.

The Mega Millions jackpot just hit a record $US970 million ($1.4 billion), the second-largest USA lottery pool ever, trailing only the $US1.59 billion Powerball prize in 2016.

However, its second-biggest one of all time for $656 million happened in 2012 before the tweak. Now, the Mega Millions jackpots grow and grow, creating huge prizes with infrequent payouts.

Mega Millions tickets cost $2 per play and there are a total of nine ways to win a prize, ranging from the jackpot down to $2.

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"Ultimately, these games, they're all about the jackpots", Gordon Medenica, Maryland's lottery and gaming director, said Wednesday.

No one has matched all six numbers and won the Mega Millions grand prize since July 24. When the jackpots flirt with the half-billion-dollar mark, state lotteries don't even feel the need to advertise, he said.

One Powerball player in MA woke up a million dollars richer Thursday morning.

Prizes this big do get more people to take a chance on the lottery. It's the second-largest lottery jackpot in US history.

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