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Mega Millions Jackpot Tops $1 Billion

5, 28, 62, 65, 70: these are the winning numbers drawn as part of the biggest lottery in US history. The jackpot is currently estimated to be $1.6 billion (with a one-time cash payout option of $913 million). Currently, no one has come forward with a winning ticket. The odds of winning are 1 in 302,575,350.

Mega Millions is a lottery game offered in 44 states and Washington D.C., with the winning numbers drawn on Tuesday and Friday evenings. The minimum jackpot is $40 million, and the jackpot increases when there is no top-prize winner. The $1.6 billion prize is the largest ever offered - the previous record of $656 million was split between three winners in different tates in March 2012. 

Should no winners emerge following Tuesday's drawing, the jackpot will increase to $2 billion for Friday's drawing. There is a good chance a winner may come forward  before then, as according to lottery officials, an estimated 75% of all number combinations have been purchased. Although there are more than 300 million possible combinations, lottery fever has swept the nation and ticket sales are through the roof. In California, residents have bought tickets at a rate of 200 per second before Friday's drawing last Thursday. 

Winners have two options: take a one-time lump sum payment, or receive annual payouts over 30 years. A one-time payout is currently estimated at $913 million - of which, approximately half would go to state and federal taxes. Should a winner choose annual payouts, the amount received yearly would depend on the winner's state of residence. But, even in a highly taxed state such as New York, a winner receiving annual payouts would eventually receive over $1 billion. 

Several tickets sold in California had five out of the six matched numbers, but no winner has been announced. The nearly-winning tickets were sold in San Luis Obispo, Stockton, San Diego, Norwalk, and San Francisco. 

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