No one held the numbers 2, 8, 42, 43, 50 and Mega ball 6 that were picked on Christmas night, Mega Millions said. The jackpot increased to US$348 million for the next drawing to be held on Friday (Dec 28).
It was the fifth time a Mega Millions drawing was held on Christmas Day, and each one has failed to produce a jackpot winner.
Mega Millions tickets are sold in convenience stories, news stands, grocery stores and other retail outlets in 44 US states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands.
The value of the jackpot is calculated on the basis of a 29-year payout, but winners can opt for a lump sum payment instead, which would be US$210.2 million for Friday's drawing, Mega Millions said.
Powerball, the other multi-state lottery, will hold one of its twice-weekly drawings on Wednesday night with a US$294 million jackpot and an instant cash value of US$177.6 million.
While the odds of hitting the Mega Millions jackpot are one in 302.6 million, the chances of turning a US$2 ticket into a winner of any kind, including a US$2 prize simply for matching the “Mega ball,” are one in 24.
The biggest-ever Mega Millions prize of US$1.537 billion went to the holder of a single ticket in a drawing on Oct 23. The ticket was sold in South Carolina but the winner has yet to come forward, Mega Millions said.
That winning ticket fell just short of the US record, a US$1.586 billion Powerball grand prize in 2016.
(Reporting by Peter Szekely in New York, additional reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta; Editing by Leslie Adler, Darren Schuettler and Jeffrey Benkoe)