The jackpot for Friday night's Mega Millions lottery game has grown to $1 billion ahead of Friday night’s drawing after more than four months without a winner.

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That record drought is thanks to bad luck, poor odds, and reduced play partially blamed on the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s only the third time a lottery jackpot has grown so large, but much has changed since the last time such a big prize was up for grabs in 2018.

And even as the huge Mega Millions prize and a $731.1 million Powerball jackpot won Wednesday by a single ticket sold in Maryland have juiced sales for the games, Maryland lottery director Gordon Medenica noted: “We’re not out of the woods yet.”

Plus, a few tickets claimed $1 million prizes in New Jersey from Wednesday's Powerball drawing. Those tickets were sold at Corkscrew Wine & Liquor on Applegarth Road in Monroe Township and Soda King, on Gordons Corner Road in Manalapan. Click here to read more. 

The largest U.S. jackpot ever was a $1.586 billion Powerball prize won by three tickets on Jan. 13, 2016.

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