The Mega Millions jackpot is almost half a billion dollars, the 8th largest in history

The Mega Millions jackpot is close to reaching half a billion dollars. By Lauren M. Johnson, CNN

(CNN) -- The Mega Millions jackpot is close to reaching half a billion dollars in what could be the eighth largest prize in the game's history.

The next chance for a lucky winner is Friday, after no ticket matched the all six numbers pulled Tuesday night, according to a Mega Millions news release.

January has a history of big wins for Mega Millions. There have been 16 jackpots awarded during the month since the start of the lottery game in 2002. That includes three of the top Mega Millions prizes -- $451 million on January 5, 2018; $437 million on January 1, 2019; and $380 million on January 14, 2011.

The prize money has not cracked the top 10 since June 2019. The highest amount won by a Mega Millions ticket was $1.537 billion in October 2018.

2020 was a great year for Mega Millions players, with five jackpot winners and two states getting winners for the first time -- including Arizona, where a player won the year's largest Mega Millions prize with more than $410 million.

The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are 1 in 302,575,350 in the 45 states where it's played, plus Washington and the US Virgin Islands.

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