Jackpot tops $400 million in Friday’s Mega Millions drawing

The Mega Millions jackpot is climbing higher as North Carolinians can play for a $421 million jackpot prize in Friday’s drawing.

A winner in North Carolina could take home the jackpot as an annuity paying out the $421 million over 29 years or choose instead to take home $290.9 million in cash.

Since the Mega Millions jackpot was last won in October, drawings have produced 35 winning tickets of $1 million or more across the nation.

Some of those big wins occurred in North Carolina. A Mecklenburg County man took home $4 million in the Jan. 18 drawing and someone who bought a ticket in Lewisville won $1 million in the New Year’s Eve drawing. The $1 million prize remains unclaimed.

“We have had a great run with Mega Millions winners,” said Mark Michalko, executive director of the N.C. Education Lottery. “Playing for a jackpot over $400 million is very exciting. Good luck to all North Carolinians on Friday night and be sure to check your tickets for all possible prizes after the drawing.”

North Carolina Mega Million players have won the jackpot twice. The odds of winning a Mega Millions jackpot are 1 in 302 million.

Mega Millions tickets cost $2. North Carolinians can buy tickets for the 11 p.m. drawing at any lottery retail location in the state until 10:45 p.m. Friday night. Tickets can also be purchased through Online Play on the lottery’s website, www.nclottery.com, and with the NC Lottery Official Mobile App until 10:43 p.m.

Ticket sales from draw games such as Mega Millions help make it possible for the lottery to raise more than $900 million a year for education. For details on how lottery funds have made a difference in all of North Carolina’s 100 counties, click on the “Impact” section of the lottery’s website.