Mega Millions has reached its biggest jackpot ever at an estimated $1.58 billion ($783.3 million cash) for the Tuesday 8 p.m. PDT drawing.
Nobody has won the jackpot since April 18.
The current record is $1.537 billion won in South Carolina on Oct. 23, 2018.
If there is no winner tonight, the Friday jackpot will be an estimated $1.8 billion ($892.4 million cash).
Only two Powerball jackpots have been larger. A single ticket sold in California won $2.04 billion on Nov. 8, 2022, and three tickets (California, Florida and Tennessee) split a $1.586 billion jackpot on Jan. 3, 2016.
The jackpot drought is due to a combination of poor luck and terrible odds, as the chance of winning the Mega Millions jackpot is 1 in 302.6 million. The odds of winning smaller prizes, ranging from $1 million to $2, are significantly better.
Winners are subject to federal taxes, and many states also tax lottery winnings.
Tickets cost $2 and are not sold in Nevada. The closest location is at The Lotto Store in Primm, just across the Nevada state line. Arizona outlets also sell lottery tickets, the closest being in White Hills, about 30 miles south of Hoover Dam.
Mega Millions is played in 45 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The astronomical odds of winning Mega Millions are off the charts when compared with other rare events, as compiled by MarketsChain:
— Earth getting hit by a meteorite: 1 in 300,000.
— Becoming a self-made billionaire: 1 in 574,012.
— Being killed in a tornado: 1 in 5.7 million.
— Becoming a shark attack fatality: 1 in 4.3 million.
— Living to 100: 1 in 5,000.