Nov 6, 2015, 1:14 pm
By Todd Northrop
Tickets for the Friday night Mega Millions drawing are selling faster than expected, prompting the state lotteries to raise the jackpot estimate to $164 million.
The previous estimate for the drawing, established early Wednesday morning, was $159 million.
Mega Millions offers two jackpot payment options: the $164 million annuity prize paid out as one immediate payment followed by 29 annual graduated payments, or a lump-sum cash option. USA Mega estimates that Friday's new cash option will be $101.7 million, up from $98.6 million.
Since Sept. 15, the Mega Millions jackpot has been drawn 15 times without a jackpot winner.
Mega Millions tickets cost $1 per play, and the Megaplier option can be purchgased for an additional $1 per play. Purchasing the Megaplier multiplies any non-jackpot prizes won by a random multiplier number drawn the same evening as the main drawing.
Drawings for Mega Millions happen every Tuesday and Friday night at 11:00 pm Eastern Time (8:00 pm Pacific).
Mega Millions is currently offered for sale in 44 states, plus Washington, D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The winning numbers are published at USA Mega (www.usamega.com) minutes after the drawing takes place.
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