(CBS Local) — Lottery players across America are hoping to start the New Year off with a historic win. Tonight’s Mega Millions jackpot is estimated at $425 million, making it the 8th largest in that lottery’s history. The cash option is an estimated $254.6 million.
The last time someone hit the Mega Millions jackpot was October 23, for a record $1.537 billion. Only one ticket matched all 5 numbers and the Mega ball. The ticket was sold in South Carolina and the winner still hasn’t come forward.
In 2018, five Mega Millions jackpots were won:
- 1/5 – $451 million
- 3/30 – $533 million
- 5/4 – $142 million
- 7/24 – $543 million
- 10/23 – $1.537 billion
Here’s what you need to know before the 8 p.m. PT drawing:
- Tickets cost $2 per play
- Players pick 6 numbers: the first 5 range from 1-70; the Mega Ball is 1-25
- Players can choose their own numbers or select Easy Pick/Quick Pick
- Winners can get paid in 2 ways: annuity (1 immediate payment followed by 29 annual payments), or cash (one-time, lump-sum payment)
- The “draw entry” closes at 7:45 p.m. (Pacific time)
- The numbers are picked at 8 p.m. (Pacific time)
- The overall odds of winning any Mega Millions prize is about 1 in 24
- The overall odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot is about 1 in 303 million
Mega Millions drawings happen on Tuesdays and Fridays. This is the fifth New Year’s Day drawing in the game’s history, but only one jackpot has ever been won on January 1 – in 2008.