Mega Millions jackpot is now 9th-largest prize in U.S. history

File photo - Mega Millions (AP Photo/G-Jun Yam)
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DES MOINES, Iowa (CBS/AP) -- Lottery players will have a chance at the nation's ninth-largest jackpot when numbers are drawn for Friday's Mega Millions game. The estimated $548 million prize would be the largest jackpot in more than nine months.

Players who buy $2 tickets face extremely long odds, with a one in 302.5 million chance of matching all six numbers.

This is the Mega Millions' third biggest prize ever. Mega Millions' record haul was a $656 million jackpot shared by people in three states in 2012. Just behind that was a $648 million pot won in California and Georgia on Dec. 17, 2013.

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The Mega Millions prize has grown so large because no one has won the jackpot since July 24, when 11 co-workers from the San Francisco Bay Area joined an office pool and hit the winning numbers for a $543 million payoff.

The $548 million prize in Friday's drawing refers to the annuity option, which is awarded in 30 payouts. A winner who opted for a cash payout would receive $309 million, minus taxes.

How to play Mega Millions

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. You can play Mega Millions in 46 localities: 44 states plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

10 largest U.S. jackpots in U.S. history

  1. $1.6 billion, Powerball, Jan. 13, 2016 (three tickets, from California, Florida, Tennessee)
  2. $758.7 million, Powerball, Aug. 23, 2017 (one ticket, from Massachusetts)
  3. $656 million, Mega Millions, March 30, 2012 (three tickets, from Kansas, Illinois and Maryland)
  4. $648 million, Mega Millions, Dec. 17, 2013 (two tickets, from California and Georgia)
  5. $590.5 million, Powerball, May 18, 2013 (one ticket, from Florida)
  6. $587.5 million, Powerball, Nov. 28, 2012 (two tickets, from Arizona and Missouri)
  7. $564.1 million, Powerball, Feb. 11, 2015 (three tickets, from North Carolina, Puerto Rico and Texas)
  8. $559.7 million, Powerball, Jan. 6, 2018 (one ticket, New Hampshire)
  9. $543 million, Mega Millions, July 24, 2018 (one ticket, California)
  10. $536 million, Mega Millions, July 8, 2016 (one ticket, from Indiana)
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