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US Mega Millions lottery jackpot hits record $1.6bn

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A store selling Mega Millions lottery tickets in Washington DCImage copyright EPA

A record-breaking US lottery jackpot of $1.6bn (£1.2bn) is up for grabs after players failed to pick the winning ticket in a $1bn Mega Millions draw.

The competition, which saw 15 “second-tier” tickets scoop about $1m each, had people lining up at service stations and stores nationwide on Friday.

The odds of choosing the matching six numbers to win the Mega Millions prize are said to be one in 302,575,350.

Another draw for the huge US jackpot will be held on Tuesday.

The Mega Millions draws, tickets for which are sold in 44 US states, the District of Columbia and the US Virgin Islands, have failed to produce a top prize winner since July.

The competition was created in 2002 and has seen a number of changes to the rules over the years that have reduced the odds of winning, leading to larger jackpots.

Top five US jackpot wins

  • $1.58bn: A Powerball win in 2016. The prize was split three ways by ticket holders from California, Florida and Tennessee
  • $758.7m: Won in 2017 by mother-of-two Mavis Wanczyk from Massachusetts. She said she had picked the numbers based on relatives’ birthdays
  • $656m: A Mega Millions top prize win in 2012, shared between three winners who purchased tickets in Maryland, Kansas and Illinois
  • $648m: Another Mega Millions win, this time in 2013 by two ticket holders; a woman in Georgia and a man in California
  • $590.5m: A Powerball jackpot won by an 84-year-old Florida woman

Credit:BBC

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