LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The sixth-largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history will be on the line Friday after no tickets were sold with all six numbers in the multi-state Mega Millions game for 30 consecutive draws.
The $1.25 billion jackpot is the fourth-largest in the history of the Mega Millions game, which began in 1996 as The Big Game and was given the new name Mega Millions in 2002.
There have been two Powerball drawings with larger jackpots.
The drawing will be held at 8 p.m. Ticket sales end at 7 p.m., as adequate time is required to ensure that the draw data has been securely received from all member lotteries before the drawing is held in Atlanta.
The odds of matching all five numbers and the Mega number are 1 in 302,575,350, according to the California Lottery. The overall chance of winning a prize is 1 in 24.
A ticket with all six numbers has not been sold since April 18.
The Mega Millions game is played in 45 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. Virgin Islands.
Buying tickets at a store where tickets with large jackpots have been sold in the past will not increase a purchaser's chance of winning a jackpot, according to USC mathematics professor Ken Alexander.
"The chance that a given place will sell a winning lottery ticket is just related to how many tickets they sell," Alexander told City News Service.
However, players wanting a better chance of avoiding sharing the jackpot should choose numbers that aren't selected as often, Alexander said. Lottery players frequently choose the date of their birthdays as one of their numbers, so numbers higher than 31 would be played less, Alexander said.