October 20, 2018 11:27 pm
Updated: October 22, 2018 12:19 pm

Mega Millions lottery reaches record $1.6 billion jackpot

WATCH: Biggest U.S. lottery jackpot ever is now up for grabs as Mega Millions reaches $1.6 billion

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The Mega Millions lottery may see a streak of jackpot rollovers end as it heads toward a record $1.6 billion drawing on Tuesday.

READ MORE: Mega Millions lottery hits US$1B jackpot just hours before drawing

As more tickets sell, chances grow that at least one buyer will pick all six winning numbers. That would stop the streak of 25 rollovers, most recently on Friday night.

Based on sales projections, 75 per cent of the 302 million possible combinations will be chosen for Tuesday’s drawing, up from 59.1 per cent in Friday’s, said Carole Gentry, spokeswoman for Maryland Lottery and Gaming.

“It’s possible that nobody wins again. But it’s hard to fathom,” Gentry said.

WATCH: With Mega Millions and Powerball totaling more than $2B, lottery fever spikes in U.S.

About 280 million tickets sold in Friday’s drawing, none matching the winning mix of 7, 15, 23, 53, 65 and 70 to claim an estimated prize of $1 billion. Fifteen tickets matched five numbers for second-tier prizes of at least $1 million.

The $1.6 billion estimated jackpot would be the largest prize in U.S. history . The second-largest jackpot was a $1.586 billion Powerball drawing on Jan. 13, 2016.

Russ Lopez, spokesman for the California Lottery, said tickets were going “very, very quickly” on Saturday.

WATCH: U.S. Mega Millions lottery hits record $1.6 billion after no winners on Friday


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Tonya Jimenez, assistant manager at Beavers Market in Fort Collins, Colorado, said all three registers were going Saturday, a day after the store sold 220 tickets. Many hopefuls haven’t played before.

“We tell them how to play it,” she said. “They don’t know what to do. We’re doing a lot of explaining.”

READ MORE: Okanagan man $500K richer after lottery win

The Mega Millions jackpot has been growing since July, when a group of 11 California office workers won $543 million.

It costs $2 to play the game. The odds of winning the jackpot are about one in 302 million but, with so many tickets being purchased, the likelihood of rollover becomes increasingly slim.

© 2018 The Canadian Press

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