With No Mega Millions Winner, Jackpot Climbs to $1.6 Billion

Mega Millions mania as lottery jackpot approaches a $1 billion bonanza

"You can't win if you don't play", he joked.

Robert Bednarz, who lives in suburban Chicago near O'Hare International Airport and sells software, also picked up tickets on his way home from work.

"We were thinking about whether or not we'd go back to work, and I think we all decided that we wouldn't", Bednarz said. "Think about it. Stop thinking about what you would do when you got it and start thinking about what you would do two years after you got it".

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That's an incredible amount of money, but compared to the Mega Millions prize hovering around $1.6 billion, it barely seems worth the bother of buying a ticket. 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. "I'd be more surprised if it doesn't get hit". Cornelius Nelan, a math professor at Quinnipiac University in CT, notes the odds are about the same as rolling a die and getting a one, 11 times in a row.

The draw takes place at 10 p.m.

The jackpot was the biggest in Mega Millions history and the second-largest in lottery history, behind only the $1.586 billion Powerball jackpot in January 2016, according to Maryland Lottery and Gaming. Most winners opt for cash, which for Friday night's drawing would be $565 million.

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