Mega Millions jackpot rises to over $520 million as drawing nears

(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.

Maryland Lottery and Gaming officials say if nobody wins tonight's jackpot, the jackpot for Tuesday, April 3 will be $612 million. That would be the 3rd largest in Mega Millions history and the 5th largest in U.S. jackpot history. 

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

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