Mega Millions jackpot climbs to $1B: Winning odds, lucky numbers and everything else to know

Are you feeling lucky?

As the Mega Millions jackpot drawing increased to an eye-popping $1 billion on Friday, it seems more and more Americans are deciding they “have a feeling,” too, an impulse sending lotto tickets flying off shelves nationwide in advance of the next drawing.

In California alone, nearly $5.7 million worth of Mega Millions tickets were sold within the first half of the day Thursday. By lunchtime, 200 tickets were being sold every second.

But the more tickets that are sold, the lower your odds of actually winning.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Mega Millions game.

When are the drawings?

Mega Millions drawings are held on Tuesdays and Fridays at 11 p.m. ET. The next drawing is Oct. 19.

The winning numbers will be posted online and to the Mega Millions app shortly after. You can also call a player information telephone number in your state to hear the results.

“Information on the number of winners is posted on Wednesday and Saturday mornings after Mega Millions lottery security has verified winning ticket sales,” Mega Millions states on its website.

Who can play?

Good news: The Mega Millions game is available in 44 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

You can buy $2 tickets at mini-marts, gas stations or other stores. If you live in Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina or North Dakota, however, you also have a choice of buying tickets online.

“Players may pick six numbers from two separate pools of numbers — five different numbers from 1 to 70 and one number from 1 to 25 — or select Easy Pick/Quick Pick. You win the jackpot by matching all six winning numbers in a drawing,” Mega Millions explains online.

What are the odds of winning of the jackpot?

This is not “The Hunger Games.” No one is pretending (or even wishing) the odds will be ever in your favor.

You currently have a roughly one in 302.5 million chance of taking home the pot.

The last time someone hit the jackpot was July 24, when a group in California won $543 million. And as the prize continues to grow, your chances of winning grow slimmer and slimmer.

If there isn’t a winner on Oct. 19, the prize for the next drawing — on Oct. 23 — would reach at least $1.6 billion, tying the largest U.S. lottery prize.

What are the most commonly drawn lottery numbers?

According to Lottery Extreme, the top 6 most common lottery numbers drawn since 1996 are (in this order): 2,17,31,39,4 and 29. The number 2, which has been drawn at least 219 times, was last pulled on Oct.2.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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