A Mega Millions ticket is seen as a person makes...

A Mega Millions ticket is seen as a person makes a purchase inside a convenience store, Aug. 7, 2023, in Kennesaw, Ga. The winning numbers for a nearly $1 billion Mega Millions lottery prize will be drawn Friday night, March 22, 2024, offering the hope of sudden riches for a lucky player and almost certain disappoint for everyone else. Credit: AP/Mike Stewart

DES MOINES, Iowa — A nearly $1 billion Mega Millions jackpot will be up for grabs Friday night, offering the prospect of instant riches for a lucky player after more than three months without a big winner.

The numbers will be drawn at 11 p.m. EDT for the estimated $977 million Mega Millions prize. The jackpot ranks as the 10th largest in U.S. lottery history.

No one has won the game's jackpot since Dec. 8, a string of 29 consecutive drawings without anyone matching all of the game's six numbers. That has enabled the jackpot to slowly grow, week after week.

The $977 million prize is for a sole winner who chooses to be paid through an annuity over 30 years. Winners almost always opt for a cash payment, which for Friday's drawing would be an estimated $461 million.

The other U.S. lottery game, Powerball, also has grown to be nearly as large, with an annuity jackpot of $750 million and a cash payout of $357.3 million. The next Powerball drawing is scheduled to take place Saturday night.

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