DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Lottery players whose numbers didn't hit or who forgot to even buy a ticket will have another shot at a nearly $1 billion Mega Millions prize when a drawing is held Friday night.
The estimated $940 million jackpot has been growing for more than two months and now ranks as the sixth-largest in U.S history.
Even as the prize grows larger, the odds of winning remain the same at one in 302.6 million.
Elijah Kouza, assistant manager of Buscemis convenience store in the Detroit suburb of Livonia, Michigan, said the Mega Millions jackpot is drawing lots of customers.
“When the big games get this high, that’s when people that never play the lottery got to come in,” he said. “The Mega and Power is more of a fantasy than anything. But all it takes is one.”
At Buscemis, which sells liquor, pizza and, of course, lottery tickets, the $940 million jackpot is prominently displayed both outside and inside the store.
Kouza said the store will sell 20-25 Mega Millions tickets on a normal Friday. Today, he’s anticipating that number to rise to triple digits.
“It’s kind of hilarious to me, because if it’s like $100 million, people are like, ‘Nah.’ They’ll pass,” he said.
The $940 million jackpot is for winners who choose an annuity, paid annually over 29 years. Winners usually want cash, which for Friday night's drawing would be an estimated $486 million.
If there is no winner, the next drawing will be held Tuesday night.
Mega Millions is played in 45 states as well as in Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Associated Press reporter Mike Householder in Livonia, Michigan, contributed to this report.