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US lottery punters cross their fingers for one billion dollar draw

It is the second biggest prize in history and could still grow.

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Mega Millions bet cards (Tony Dejak/AP)

Mega Millions bet cards (Tony Dejak/AP)

Mega Millions bet cards (Tony Dejak/AP)

The Mega Millions jackpot has soared to one billion US dollars (£770 million), as the second-largest lottery prize in US lottery history gets even bigger.

Lottery officials increased the grand prize just hours ahead of the Friday night draw.

The prize climbed from 970 million dollars.

Although the jackpot keeps increasing, the odds of winning remain stuck at a miserable one in 302.5 million.

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The Mega Millions jackpot continues to rise (Tony Dejak/AP)

The Mega Millions jackpot continues to rise (Tony Dejak/AP)

AP/PA Images

The Mega Millions jackpot continues to rise (Tony Dejak/AP)

The prize has grown so large because no one has hit the jackpot since July 24, when a group in California won 543 million dollars.

The one billion prize refers to the annuity option.

Most winners opt for cash, which for Friday night’s drawing would be 565 million dollars.

Officials say that if there is not a winner, the prize for Tuesday night’s drawing would be 1.6 billion dollars, tying the largest US lottery prize.

PA Media