Mega Millions jackpot swells to $500 million for Friday drawing

MILWAUKEE -- There's a lot of money on the line for Friday night's Mega Millions lottery drawing. The estimated jackpot now stands at $500 million. That's a half-billion dollars! A winner who chooses the cash option would win $359.4 million.

This is the largest jackpot ever offered, and a world record!

The jackpot jumped because nobody won Tuesday's big prize. The winning numbers drawn on Tuesday are: 9 - 19 - 34 - 44 - 51, Mega ball 24.

If you win a Mega Millions jackpot, you will choose how to be paid: Cash Option or Annual Payout. The annuity option provides you with annual payments over a 26-year period. The cash option is a one-time lump sum payment that is equal to the cash in the Mega Millions jackpot prize pool.

The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are 1 in 175,711,536. But if you match five numbers without the Mega ball, your odds improve to 1 in 3,904,701 for a $250,000 prize. There's a 1 in 75 chance of winning a $2 prize by matching only the Mega ball.

Mega Millions is offered in 42 states, plus the District of Columbia and the U. S. Virgin Islands; a total of 44 jurisdictions. Each play costs $1.

The Mega Millions drawing will be held at 10 p.m. Friday, March 30th.