With NO Mega Millions winners on Tuesday, the jackpot has climbed to $1.35 billion! According to USA Today, if someone wins the next drawing this Friday, January 13th, the pot would be the second-largest Mega Millions giveaway! The prize amount is so high because last October was the last time anyone won the popular game.

So, let's go over the odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot, as illustrated by game officials. Ready for this? The chance of winning the JACKPOT is 1 in 302,575,350! Regarding winning other smaller prize amounts, the odds are 1 in 24, which, cut and dry, shows how hard the GRAND PRIZE is to achieve! But, hey, it's been done time and time again, so don't throw in the towel just yet.

Time to talk payout! So say you were the winner of Friday's $1.35 billion jackpot. Nice job! Two payout options would be made available to you. One option involves an annuity paid over a 29-year period. The second and more common choice is a lump sum cash option, which would cut your jackpot earnings in half! Ouch! The tax man cometh in a big way on that dollar amount! But then again, you'd still be sitting pretty as the halfway mark is $707.9 million. Most people wouldn't flinch at that amount, and I'm one of them.

Now, I want to avoid jinxing your chances, but in the event no one wins this Friday, the Mega Millions Jackpot could go up an additional $2 million. Of course, the exact dollar amount is based on the number of interactive players and other factors. So, get your lottery "game face" on and keep dreaming the dream! Good luck!

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