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Mega Millions Jackpot Reaches $353M for Friday, Its Fifth Largest

By Michael Mullins   |   Wednesday, 12 Mar 2014 08:51 AM

The Mega Millions' jackpot has reached $353 million, the fifth biggest annuity in the game's history, after there were no jackpot winners in Tuesday night's $309 million drawing.

With Friday's $353 Mega Million jackpot, a single winner can expect to take home a lump sum of $194 million before taxes.

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Two $1 million winning tickets were sold during Tuesday's drawing, with players matching the lottery's first five numbers, which were 9-14-56-57-69, but missing the Mega Ball number of 10, according to MegaMillions.com.

The last Mega Millions jackpot win occurred on Jan. 3, when Bettina "Tina" Still and her son Jonathan of Nashville, won a cool $61 million before taxes.

"I am truly grateful for this blessing," Still said in a press release issued by Mega Millions. "I have played the Lottery since it first arrived in Tennessee and have always believed that I could win."

The largest Mega Millions win over the past 12 months, however, was Steve Tran's. The San Jose, Calif., resident won a $324 million jackpot on Dec. 17.

Mega Millions jackpots have grown significantly since last fall, after the lottery increased its number pool from one through 56 to one through 75 on Oct. 19, thereby significantly increasing the odds against the player.

As a result of the change, the odds of winning a Mega Millions jackpot with a single ticket increased from 1 in 176 million to 1 in 259 million. With tougher odds, Mega Millions officials hoped to see larger jackpots more frequently, and consequently more interest.

In comparison, Powerball, which costs $2 per ticket and has one through 59 balls, gives the player a one in 175 million chance of winning the jackpot. The current Powerball jackpot is $60 million, with a cash payout of nearly $33.8 million. The next Powerball drawing will be Wednesday night.

As large as the Mega Millions jackpots have been in the past year, Powerball had the highest overall jackpot in the past 12 months, with a $636-million prize split between two winners in December.

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