How Mega Millions created monstrous jackpots -- but made them harder to win

Signs display the jackpots for Mega Millions and Powerball lottery drawings at a newsstands in midtown Manhattan in New York U.S

Friday's Mega Millions jackpot soars to $1 billion

Australian lotto players might not have such a big prize to play for but this week $60 million is up for garbs with $10 million in Tuesday's Oz Lotto, $30 million in the Powerball draw on Thursday and then $20 in Saturday's Superdraw.

No one won the latest Mega Millions drawing, meaning the jackpot climbs to a staggering $1.6 billion.

In the Powerball, the victor can also opt for a cash prize of more than $354 million.

On Friday, that would be a total of $565 million before taxes, according to the Mega Millions website. If there is a victor, they will get the 13th largest payout in history.

Friday morning, the jackpot rose to $1 billion, with an estimated cash payout of more than $565 million.

Germany bond spread hits highest level since 2013 over European Union budget dispute
The 5-Star movement opposes such a move because it could benefit organized crime or tax cheats hiding money aboard. Italy is the third-largest economy in the 19-country euro zone, and a crisis there could unsettle the entire bloc.

Lines were forming Friday morning at gas stations and 7-11s across the 44 states, the federal capital Washington and the U.S. Virgin Islands where the lottery is held, with the draw to take place at 11:00 p.m. local time (0300 GMT).

While the epic prize is up for grabs in the US, Lottoland UK customers can bet on the outcome of the MegaMillions lottery and potentially win a separate jackpot.

The Mega Millions jackpot has been growing since July, when a group of 11 California office workers won $543 million. United Kingdom players can win a separate prize by betting on the numbers. Mega Millions now marks the largest lottery prize in the history of the United States.

USA lottery winnings are taxable at the federal level, unlike in many other countries, while some states also impose local taxes.

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