Friday the 13th’s Mega Millions Jackpot Is $340 Million: How to Play the Lottery

While Friday the 13th is traditionally believed to be a day of misfortune, a drawing for the $340 million Mega Millions jackpot could turn it into the luckiest day of someone’s life.

The jackpot climbed to $340 million after there was no winner for Tuesday’s drawing, which was worth $309 million. The winning numbers were 01, 17, 28, 56, and 70 with the gold mega ball number being 14. Although no one won the big prize, two tickets worth $1 million each were sold in Illinois and New York, according to Michigan Live.

In order to be eligible for the hundreds of millions of dollars awaiting a home, lottery hopefuls have to purchase a Mega Millions ticket in one of the 44 participating states, Washington, D.C., or the U.S. Virgin Islands. Nevada, Utah, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi and Alabama do not participate in the Mega Millions lottery, according to the website.

Each ticket costs $2, and players pick six numbers from two separate pools of eligible numbers. The first pool includes numbers one through 70 and the second pool consists of one through 25. Players can also do a quick pick ticket and let the computer decide their fate.

Most states also offer the Megaplier feature for an extra dollar per play. Before the Mega Millions drawing, the Megaplier number is drawn, which multiplies non-jackpot prizes for those who correctly chose the Megaplier by two to five times, depending on the number selected.

GettyImages-73508569 A man holds a bundle of Mega Millions lottery tickets that he just purchased March 6, 2007 in San Francisco, California. July 13 Mega Millions lottery is up to $340 million. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Every drawing presents nine different ways of winning, according to the lottery website:

  • 5 numbers + gold mega ball match = Jackpot
  • 5 numbers + no gold mega ball match = $1,000,000
  • 4 numbers + gold mega ball match = $10,000
  • 4 numbers + no gold mega ball match = $500
  • 3 numbers + gold mega ball match = $200
  • 3 numbers + no gold mega ball match = $10
  • 2 numbers + gold ball match = $10
  • 1 number + gold ball match = $4
  • 0 numbers + gold ball match = $2

Each play has a one in 302,575,350 chance of winning the jackpot prize; however, the good news is that if you only purchase one ticket for $2, you have a one in 37 chance of winning your money back.

Now, if you do win the jackpot you have two options to be paid: annuity or cash. If you choose the cash option, you get one lump sum, which, for Friday’s drawing, is worth $204 million. The annuity option gives you one immediate payment and then 29 annual payments, each being 5 percent larger than the previous payment.

A poll of investors published by CNBC found that 74.8 percent of investors would opt for the lump sum of cash and only 25.2 percent would choose the annuity option.

While some people claim that playing the same numbers increases a person’s chances of winning the lottery, it’s not entirely true. Every number has the same probability of being picked each time the lottery is drawn. By choosing the same numbers, a person is leveraging the likelihood that at some point, that combination will be chosen.  

The last time someone claimed the Mega Millions jackpot was nine weeks ago, on May 4. It was worth $142 million and purchased in Moraine, Ohio. The drawing for Friday's Mega Millions takes place at 11 p.m. ET.

RTX2JBJC A ticket is seen ahead of the Mega Millions lottery draw, which reached a jackpot of $415 million in New York, on July 1, 2016. The July 13 lottery drawing is up to $340 million. Andrew Kelly/Getty Images

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