Mega Millions jackpot now $660M, can you increase your odds?

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(NewsNation) — The Mega Millions grand prize has reached a whopping $660 million, but even as the big prize has increased, the odds of winning all that money have remained the same — a staggering one in 302.5 million.

To put that into context, the odds of getting struck by lightning are less than one in a million, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. So, how do you increase your odds?

Jake Harris, the Michigan state lottery player relations manager, says to always put your money in if your coworkers or family are pooling together.

“My recommendation to people who have a lottery pool at work is to always put in the money because you don’t want to be the one left working in your group if it does happen to win and you didn’t pay for your ticket that week,” Harris said.

The jackpot for Friday night’s drawing has grown so large because there hasn’t been a winner in three months. Those 27 consecutive drawings without anyone matching all six numbers has allowed the jackpot to gradually grow from its $20 million starting point in April.

“The only guarantee with the lottery is that you can’t win if you don’t play. So you’ve got to take a chance to win,” Harris said.

The highlighted pre-tax $660 million prize is for a winner who takes an annuity option, paid out in 30 annual payments. Most players choose the cash option, which for Friday’s drawing would be $376.9 million.

Mega Millions is played in 45 states as well as Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The game is overseen by state lottery officials.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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