SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF/AP) — A $1 billion Mega Millions jackpot is up for grabs, offering a shot at the third-largest lottery prize in U.S. history.
The winning numbers in the Mega Millions drawing Friday night were: 4, 26, 42, 50, 60 and a Mega Ball of 24.
The Mega Millions top prize has been growing since Sept. 15, when a winning ticket was sold in Wisconsin.
The California Lottery Twitter account posted Friday morning that the jackpot had hit the $1 billion mark.
The #MegaMillions jackpot is now $1 Billion, yes we said BILLION. Do you have your ticket yet? Tickets should be purchased during essential shopping trips only. #PlayForMillions #PlayItSafe #CALottery pic.twitter.com/NhNdvrTeLO
— California Lottery (@calottery) January 22, 2021
With the rush of people buying last-minute tickets Friday, the final Mega Millions prize could rise even higher. The drawing will be held at 8 p.m. PST Friday night.
The prize has gotten so big that it has outgrown the digital lottery display signs that can only show a jackpot up to $999 million.
A steady stream of lottery hopefuls were buying tickets Friday afternoon at a gas station in Hercules. Everyone has a dream. One man said he’d help the Richmond Snoop Dogg Youth Football League. Another player named Rosa said she was feeling lucky on her birthday.
When asked how many ticket she bought, Rosa replied, “Just one. You only need one to win right?”
Lottery spokesperson Jorge De La Cruz said via Zoom he was looking forward to a historic night.
“If the jackpot is hit, it will be the third largest in U.S. history,” said De La Cruz.
Two weeks ago, a Mega Millions lottery ticket was purchased at a gas station in Brentwood that was worth more than $2.3 million, California Lottery officials said.
While the massive Powerball prize worth an estimated $731.1 million was won by a single lucky ticket purchaser in Maryland earlier this week, players in the Bay Area still have a chance to cash in with the Mega Millions game.
That winning Powerball ticket was old in Allegany County, located in northwestern Maryland, but additional details weren’t immediately available, the Maryland Lottery said in a statement. Just who gets these riches may never be known: In Maryland, winners have the right to remain anonymous.
The Powerball jackpot was the fifth-largest U.S. lottery jackpot ever. Winning numbers for Wednesday night’s Powerball drawing were: 40-53-60-68-69 and a Powerball of 22.
This week marked the first time both lottery jackpots topped $700 million. The biggest prize for either game was a $1.58 billion Powerball jackpot won by three people in 2016.
No one had won either of the jackpots since mid-September, allowing the prizes to grow steadily for months. Such a long stretch without a winner is rare, but also reflects the incredibly small odds of winning — 1 in 292.2 million for Powerball and 1 in 302.5 million for Mega Millions.
Mega Millions and Powerball are both played in 45 states as well as Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press and KPIX 5’s Don Ford contributed to this report