When Is the Mega Millions Drawing? Jackpot Climbs to $1.1 Billion

The Mega Millions drawing has climbed to an estimated $1.1 billion after no winning numbers were drawn Tuesday, making it only the third time the jackpot has crossed the billion-dollar threshold in the game's two-decade history.

Numbers will be drawn again Friday at 11 p.m. ET. Tickets can be purchased across 45 states, plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and you can still play even if you live in a state where tickets aren't available. However, if you win, you'll have to return to the state where you purchased your tickets to claim your winnings.

The current jackpot is almost as large as the record amounts won in 2018 and 2021, when players with winning numbers were handed roughly $1.5 billion and $1.05 billion, respectively. The 2018 jackpot remains the world's biggest lottery prize ever won on a single ticket.

On Tuesday, nine people almost won the cash prize, which was $830 million, but they had only the first five winning numbers and missed the Mega Ball, Mega Millions said.

"We look with anticipation on the growing jackpot," Ohio Lottery Director Pat McDonald, the lead director of the Mega Millions Consortium, said on the Mega Millions website. "Seeing the jackpot build over a period of months and reaching the billion-dollar mark is truly breathtaking. We encourage customers to keep play in balance and enjoy the ride. Someone is going to win."

Mega Millions Drawing Hits $1.1 Billion
At $1.1 billion, the current Mega Millions drawing is only the third time the jackpot has crossed the billion-dollar threshold in the game's two-decade history. Above, a cashier prints out a Mega Millions lottery ticket at a 7-Eleven store in Chino Hills, California, on Thursday. Getty Images/Ringo Chiu/AFP

Mega Millions numbers are drawn every Tuesday and Friday night, and the game is one of America's two largest lotteries. The other is Powerball, which is drawn on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Mega Million tickets cost $2 per play, and the odds of winning with one ticket are 1 in 303 million. The more tickets you buy, the greater your chances of winning. Buying 100 tickets would raise your odds to about 1 in 3 million.

Winning players are likely to get national attention, but the lottery game points out that not every state requires lotteries to publicly identify winners. Players in Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina and Wyoming can remain anonymous.

Those in Texas, Virginia and West Virginia are allowed to keep their identities confidential as long as the prize surpasses a certain amount. Players in Florida can remain anonymous but only for up to 90 days after winning.

While there are no surefire ways to pick winning Mega Millions numbers, analyzing statistics could be helpful. Experts say that when choosing numbers, players should pick "unusual" numbers that would make the prize bigger because a winner wouldn't have to share the jackpot with other winning numbers.

"Our bottom-line advice is to choose numbers you think most people would not play so that if you do happen to win, your chances of keeping that big jackpot all to yourself are much better," Todd Northrop, the owner of USA Mega, previously told Newsweek.