KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Amid a downed website and anticipation for matching numbers, no ticket matched Tuesday night’s Mega Millions lottery drawing, which means the jackpot prize has grown even larger ahead of Friday night’s drawing. Officials said early Wednesday morning that for the third time in the 20-year history of Mega Millions, the jackpot has surpassed “the magical $1 billion mark.”

“We look with anticipation on the growing jackpot,” says Ohio Lottery Director Pat McDonald, current Lead Director of the Mega Millions Consortium. “Seeing the jackpot build over a period of months and reaching the billion-dollar mark is truly breathtaking. We encourage customers to keep play in balance and enjoy the ride. Someone is going to win.”

This means the drawing on Friday, July 29 will be for an estimated $1.025 billion jackpot, which is $602.5 million cash, and will also mark the 30th in this jackpot run which began in April.

The last jackpot-winning Mega Millions ticket was drawn in Tennessee on April 15 for $20 million.

The largest Mega Millions jackpot was $1.537 billion and was won in South Carolina on Oct. 23, 2018 – the prize remains the world’s largest lottery prize ever won on a single ticket, according to lottery officials.

As the excitement and anticipation grows around the lottery game, the Mega Millions website was down for more than two hours Tuesday night. Officials said they had an unprecedented amount of visitors to the site after the winning numbers were announced.

They also shared the following information about other prize winnings – and what’s to come Friday night:

“As the jackpot grows, so does the number of winning tickets at all other prize levels. For the July 26 drawing alone, there were a total of 6,775,330, winning tickets at all prize levels. Nine tickets matched the five white balls to win the Mega Millions second prize. One, sold in Ohio, is worth $3 million because it included the optional Megaplier (a $1 extra purchase available in most states), which was 3X Tuesday night. Of the other eight Match 5 tickets worth $1 million, two each were sold in New Jersey and New York, plus one each in California, Florida, Illinois and Ohio.

“For matching four white balls plus the Mega Ball, 156 tickets win the game’s third prize. Thirty-six of those are worth $30,000 each because they also included the optional Megaplier. The other 120 third-prize tickets win $10,000 each.

“In the 29 drawings since the jackpot was last won in Tennessee on April 15, there have been more than 28.1 million winning tickets at all prize levels, including 42 worth $1 million or more. Those big prizes have been won in 17 states across the country: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia. Four Mega Millions jackpots have been won so far this year. In addition to the most recent Tennessee win at $20 million on April 15, jackpots were won in California ($426 million on January 28), New York ($128 million on March 8) and Minnesota ($110 million on April 12; that state’s very first Mega Millions jackpot win).

“Friday’s prize, as currently estimated, is just shy of the $1.050 billion jackpot won in Michigan on January 22, 2021. The Mega Millions record jackpot is $1.537 billion, won in South Carolina on October 23, 2018; that prize remains the world’s largest lottery prize ever won on a single ticket.”