Mega Millions jackpot up to $521 million as drawing nears

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A giant lottery jackpot has grown a bit bigger.

The Mega Millions jackpot climbed from $502 million to $521 million ahead of Friday night’s drawing as more players bought tickets.

It’s the nation’s 10th largest lottery jackpot. No one has matched all six numbers drawn since January.

It costs $2 to play the game and a willingness to ignore the fact that you’ll almost certainly lose. The odds of winning the jackpot are one in 302 million, though odds of winning smaller prizes are better.

The $521 million figure refers to the annuity option, in which payments are made over 29 years. The cash option would pay $317 million.

Mega Millions is played in 44 states plus Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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