Florida gamblers have a chance at a near-historic lottery jackpot this week as the Mega Millions jackpot is $1.35 billion.
It’s the second-largest jackpot in the history of the game. The largest Mega Millions jackpot was in 2018 when it reached $1.537 billion. But if nobody hits the jackpot this Friday, the rollover will almost certainly create a new record.
The record jackpot was hit by a buyer in South Carolina in 2018. The game holds drawings on Tuesdays and Fridays of every week at 11 p.m. ET.
Mega Millions is the largest multi-jurisdictional lottery game
The Florida Lottery is involved in three different multi-state lottery games. Along with Mega Millions, the state participates in Powerball and Cash4Life.
Powerball is arguably the most known game of the three with 44 states involved. However, Mega Millions includes 44 states and is the largest of the three games available to Floridians. The Florida Lottery joined the Mega Millions pool in 2013.
On the other hand, only 10 states participate in Cash4Life. Those states hold nightly drawings with the jackpot awarding $1,000 a day for life.
How to win the Mega Millions jackpot
Each Mega Millions ticket costs $2 to play. Players select five numbers between 1 and 7 plus a Mega Ball number between 1 and 25.
Additionally, players can select a Megaplier for another $1. The Megaplier is chosen randomly and will multiply non-jackpot prizes between two and five times.
You win $2 if you only match the Mega Ball. If you match four of the five balls, plus the Mega Ball, it is worth $10,000. All five balls, but no Mega Ball is worth $1 million, but to win the jackpot, someone must correctly pick all five numbers along with the Mega Ball.
The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot is roughly 1 in 302.6 million. If the near-record jackpot is hit Friday, the winner can take structured payments or a $707.9 million lump sum cash option.
Florida Lottery looks to set record sales for 12th consecutive fiscal year
During the 2021-22 fiscal year, the Florida Lottery sold $9.32 billion in tickets. The nearly 11-figure sum set a record for the 11th straight year.
Consequently, the lottery’s contribution to the state education system hit record highs as well. The department sent $2.3 billion to the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund.
The EETF uses the money to support public schools, Florida colleges and financial aid for students. Funding the Bright Futures Scholarship Program is a big part of the financial aid allocation.
Fiscal years run from July through June of the following year. Consequently, the Florida Lottery is already halfway through what could be its 13th straight record-setting year.