Mega Millions is really living up to its name this week. The jackpot will be upwards of $356 million, the fifth largest in the history of the multistate lottery games. If there is a lucky winner this week, the cash option would total more than $255 million before taxes.
Having the fifth largest jackpot isn’t the only thing the Mega Millions is celebrating this week, Illinois became the first state to offer online ticket purchases for the Lotto and Mega Millions. According to the Chicago Tribune, the first ticket was bought at 7:03 a.m. on Sunday morning; hundreds more tickets were bought within hours. In order to play online, you must first register and verify your age. The ability to play online was okay'd last December when the Justice Department decided to reverse itself to allow internet gambling.
The Mega Millions jackpot has been growing since Jan. 27, when the prize was set at $12 million. On Friday, no one person matched the winning numbers of 6-17-19-20-21; the 17th consecutive drawing without an overall winner. However, there were 37 tickets nationwide that matched five numbers. None of these winners matched the Mega Ball, which is worth $250,000.