Mega Millions Numbers Selected: $290 Million Reasons To Get All New Friends?

LOS ANGELES (CBS) —  The numbers in tonight’s multi-state Mega Millions draw are 6, 17, 19, 20, 21 and the Mega number is 20.

The estimated jackpot is $290 million, the largest since March 25, 2011, when it was $319 million, a California Lottery official said.

The drawing was the 17th since the last time a ticket with all six numbers was sold.

Late Friday, the California Lottery announced that no tickets matched all six numbers nationwide. The estimated jackpot for Tuesday’s draw will be $356 million.

Seven 5/5 tickets sold in California just failing to match the Mega number. Those tickets were sold in Commerce, Mountain View, Montebello, Cottonwood, Modesto, Los Hills and Kernville. Each of those winners will pocket $259,268.

The odds of matching all five numbers and the Mega number is 1 in 175,711,536, according to the Mega Millions website. The overall chance of winning a prize is 1 in 40.

The Mega Millions game is played in 41 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Buying tickets at a store where winning tickets have been sold in the past will not increase a purchaser’s chance of winning a jackpot, according to

USC mathematics professor Ken Alexander.

“The chance that a given place will sell a winning lottery ticket is just related to how many tickets they sell,” Alexander said.

However, players wanting a better chance of avoiding sharing the jackpot should choose numbers that aren’t selected as often, Alexander said. Lottery players frequently choose the date of their birthdays as one of their numbers, so numbers higher than 31 would be played less, he said.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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