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Mega Millions jackpot eclipses $500M for third time in a row

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(NewsNation) — The top prize in the Mega Millions lottery game has reached more than half a billion dollars for the third consecutive time this year.

The jackpot for Tuesday night’s drawing will be at $565 million, two months after two lucky winners split a $503 million prize on Oct. 14. Before that, two people in Illinois claimed the game’s second-largest jackpot of $1.337 billion for the July 29 drawing.

The July jackpot was, at the time, the third-largest in U.S. history. It grew so large because no one had matched the game’s six selected numbers since April 15, which was 29 consecutive draws without a jackpot winner.

Prizes have been growing ever larger in recent years following changes to the game that decreased the odds of winning, which is now 1 in 302 million. It’s the first time the Mega Millions jackpot has eclipsed $500 million three consecutive times dating back to Mega Millions’ launch in 2002, according to a history of winners.

There was also a record-breaking jackpot in the Powerball this year when a player in California won a $2.04 billion prize during the Nov. 7 drawing. The drawing actually occurred on the morning of Nov. 8 because of a technical issue encountered by the Minnesota Lottery.

The California winning was the largest jackpot in U.S. history and broke the previous Powerball high of $1.586 billion that was won in 2016. There have only been three billion-dollar jackpots in Mega Millions history: one in 2018, one in 2021 and one in 2022.

Both Mega Millions and Powerball are multi-state lotteries offered in 45 states plus Washington, D.C. and the Virgin Islands. Powerball is also available in Puerto Rico.

Mega Millions numbers are drawn at 11 p.m. ET on Tuesday and Friday.