A customer fills out a lottery form for the Mega Millions drawing in Chicago on March 29, 2012. No jackpot-winning ticket was sold in Tuesday night's Mega Millions drawing worth an estimated $454 million, a lottery official said. Virginia Lottery spokesman John Hagerty told The Associated Press that because no one won the jackpot, it will increase to an estimated $508 million for the next drawing on Friday. With slightly better odds than the Powerball game, it's rare that nearly four months passes without someone winning a Mega Millions jackpot.

The Mega Millions jackpot for Friday night's drawing has been raised to $540 million with a $380 million cash option. Players have until 10:45 p.m. Friday to purchase the tickets.

"As they start calling the numbers, it's so exciting," said Carole Bober Gentry, Maryland Lottery and Gaming's director of communications. "Please check your tickets because there's lots of prizes available. If you do have a winning ticket, make sure to sign the back."


According to Bober Gentry, Mega Millions tickets cost $1 per game. For an additional $1, players can choose the Megaplier, which can increase the lower-tier prizes by up to five times the winning amount.

Bober Gentry said Mega Millions is played in 46 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 258.8 million and the odds of matching any prize are about 1 in 15.

According to Bober Gentry, winners have 182 days from the day of drawing to claim the prize. If the money is not claimed, the funds go into an unclaimed prize fund. Retailers who sell the winning ticket will get a $100,000 selling bonus.

At 4:31 p.m. Friday, a winning $1 million Mega Millions ticket purchased in January from a Dundalk convenience store by an unknown player will lose its potential, according to The Baltimore Sun.

Bober Gentry said this is the third-highest Mega Millions jackpot since the game started. WBAL-TV will air the drawing live at 11 p.m. Friday.

For more information, visit www.mdlottery.com.