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Friday the 13th Mega Millions Jackpot Set at $1.35 Billion: How to Win

It's been more than three months since someone hit the Mega Millions jackpot -- and the bounty has climbed accordingly

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First it was serious. Then it got really serious. Now we just ... can't.

The Mega Millions jackpot has risen to an estimated $1.35 billion -- and climbing -- with no one having hit all six numbers for 25 consecutive drawings. It's Friday the 13th -- and that has to mean something for tonight's game, right?

No one hit the jackpot Tuesday night, marking the 25th consecutive Mega run without a big winner. The jackpot is currently the second-largest in the game's history and the odds aren't great (1 in 302.6 million of hitting all six numbers), which is probably why it's been more than three months since we've seen someone take it all home.

"Now at $1.35 billion, the Mega Millions jackpot is moving up and making history as the second-highest Mega Millions jackpot ever," Pat McDonald, Ohio lottery director and lead director of the Mega Millions Consortium, said this week.

The only Mega jackpot larger than Friday’s prize is the $1.53 billion won in South Carolina in 2018, Mega Millions said.

The largest lottery jackpot ever? That came in November with that $2 billion Powerball jackpot, which took 40 drawings or so. A single ticket in California won but no one has claimed the record prize, though that person still has until November to come forward.

Your next shot at the Mega is Friday night. The drawing is at 11 p.m. ET and tickets stop being sold 15 minutes earlier -- so don't be one of those forlorn people waiting in line at the bodega and 10:46 p.m. and missing out. (Obtenga todos los detalles en español aquí .)

After weeks without a winner, the Mega Millions jackpot is now $1.1 billion — the third largest in the lottery's 27-year history and the fifth-largest ever in the U.S. NBC New York's Jessica Cunnington reports.

How to Play Mega Millions

There are smaller winning opportunities, of course -- nine ways you can win in all. To hit the jackpot, you've got to get the five numbers plus the Mega Ball right. Choose five numbers from 1 to 70 and one from 1 to 25 for your Mega Ball.

While there aren't any specific strategies, per se (see 1 in 302.6 million odds), there are avenues that might give you a better shot. For example, if you're one of those people who select birthdays or anniversaries or any particular dates, keep in mind you're limiting yourself to less than half of the available numbers. Months go to 31 days max.

Some lotto aficionados also say opting for quick-pick (as in, go to bodega, say clerk, just give me a ticket) lowers your chances, but unless they won, what do any of them really know?

Want to know the most common winning numbers? We've got some here for you, courtesy of See their full list here.

These are the most frequently drawn Mega Millions numbers, stats show.

While no grand prize winners came from Tuesday's drawing, 16 tickets around the country matched all five white balls and earned the game's second-tier prize, with three of them — one each in Connecticut, Florida and New York — winning $3 million after including the optional Megaplier.

Whatever you do, just don't forget to check your coat pockets. People miss out ALL the time, apparently.

The new estimated prize of $1.35 billion is for a winner who chooses an annuity paid annually over 29 years. Nearly all grand prize winners opt to take a cash payout, which for Friday night’s drawing is an estimated $707.9 million.

The only Mega Millions jackpots larger than Tuesday's estimated pot have been the $1.53 billion won in South Carolina in 2018 and $1.33 billion winning ticket in Illinois in July, Mega Millions said in a statement.

Copyright NBC New York/Associated Press
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