US lottery jackpot exceeds $1 billion, one of the biggest wins in history

USA lottery jackpot exceeds $1 billion, one of the largest big wins in history

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Friday's US Mega Millions lottery draw jackpot topped the $1 billion mark, making it the fourth-biggest win ever, organizer announced Wednesday. 

The jackpot of this lottery has grown steadily for more than three months, as have the dreams of fortune of its players, no one having managed to guess the six correct numbers in the previous 29 draws.

< p>A little over $1 billion will be up for grabs on Friday, according to a press release from Mega Millions.

After Tuesday night's draw, the influx of players eager to find out if they became extremely wealthy caused the Mega Millions site to crash for nearly two hours, the group said.

The chances of winning this tantalizing amount are only 1 in nearly 303 million. For comparison, the probability of being struck by lightning is 1 in 1 million, according to data from the American health authorities.

The biggest win ever was $1.586 billion. It was won in January 2016 in the other major American lottery, Powerball, but the spoils were divided between three winners.

The billion dollars presented on Friday represents what the lucky winner would get if he agreed to spread the payment over more than 30 years.

If he wished to receive his prize all at once, he would only receive the modest sum of 603 million – part of which would then be taken by taxes-, according to an estimate of Mega Millions.

Mega Millions was created in 2002. Its formula has been modified several times in order to lower the probability of winning the jackpot, which has made it possible to regularly raise the jackpot to several hundred million dollars.