Mega Millions jackpot climbs to a half-billion dollars

Mega Millions jackpot climbs to a half-billion dollars

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A giant lottery jackpot is awaiting players willing to shrug off miserable odds for a chance at immense wealth.

The drawing for the estimated $502 million Mega Millions prize will be held Friday night.

It's the nation's 10th largest lottery jackpot. No one has matched all six numbers drawn since January.

It costs $2 to play the game and a willingness to ignore the fact that you'll almost certainly lose. The odds of winning the jackpot are one in 302 million, though odds of winning smaller prizes are better.

The $502 million figure refers to the annuity option, in which payments are made over 29 years. The cash option would pay $301 million.

Mega Millions is played in 44 states plus Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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