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Mega Millions jackpot climbs to $415 million ahead of New Year’s Day drawing

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Posted at 11:17 AM, Dec 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-30 12:17:05-05

(RNN) - Mega Millions just might give someone the happiest New Year Tuesday night.

Nobody won the jackpot in Friday night’s drawing, so now the top prize has climbed to an estimated $415 million. It’s up for grabs in a rare New Year’s Day drawing.

It’s only the fifth time Mega Millions will hold a drawing on the first day of the year. Those drawings haven’t produced a winner since 2008.

To win the jackpot, a player must match all five white balls and the gold Mega Ball.

Then, that winner must decide whether they want to take cash or an annuity.

The cash option will get you $248.8 million up front.

The annuity will gradually pay you the entire $415 million over the next 30 years. To help combat inflation, each payment will be five percent higher than the last.

Statistically, you only have a one in 302,575,350 chance of hitting the jackpot. Even so, smaller prizes can be won by matching fewer numbers.

In Friday night’s drawing, six people won $1 million by matching the five white balls without the gold Mega Ball. Thirty-six people won $10,000 by matching four white balls and the mega ball.

In all, 1,211,753 tickets won prizes at all levels.

Drawings will be held every Tuesday and Friday night at 11 E.T. until a jackpot winner has been determined.

Mega Millions saw five jackpot winners in 2018. The winner of the record $1.5 billion jackpot in October has still not claimed the prize.

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