The jackpot for Friday night's Mega Millions lottery game has grown to $1 billion after more than four months without a winner.

That record drought is thanks to bad luck, poor odds, and reduced play partially blamed on the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s only the third time a lottery jackpot has grown so large, but much has changed since the last time such a big prize was up for grabs in 2018.

And even as the huge Mega Millions prize and a $731.1 million Powerball jackpot won Wednesday by a single ticket sold in Maryland have juiced sales for the games, Maryland lottery director Gordon Medenica noted: “We’re not out of the woods yet.”

The largest U.S. jackpot ever was a $1.586 billion Powerball prize won by three tickets on Jan. 13, 2016.

Earlier this week, officials with the New Jersey Lottery said six Powerball tickets matched four of the five white balls and the Powerball drawn for $50,000. Those winning tickets were sold at ShopRite in Somers Point and at Wawa on the White Horse Pike in Berlin. The other four were sold in Lanoka Harbor in Ocean County; Manalapan, Monmouth County; Fairlawn in Bergen County; and Monroe Township in Middlesex County.

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