At $1.1 billion, the Mega Millions jackpot is one of the largest in history. 

DES MOINES, Iowa — With a jackpot of more than $1 billion, the Mega Millions jackpot is among the largest lottery prizes ever offered, making it the latest focus of lotteries that have been held in the United States and around the world for centuries. 

Although the event does not take place until December 22, a large promotional campaign began on July 5. 

Everything You Think You Know About Lottery Winners Is Probably Wrong The Mega Millions and Powerball games in the United States may offer larger individual prizes, but El Gordo's 2.4 billion euros ($2.4 billion) is the largest game in terms of total prizes. 

The lottery has never been suspended, despite wars and other political and economic crises. 

Lotteries have a long history around the world, according to David Schwartz, a professor and gaming historian at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, in part because they are simple to play and offer rare but potentially huge winnings. 

According to a lottery calculator on, an annual payout for Friday's $1.1 billion prize would provide the  winner with approximately 30 years of $36.7 million checks.

Take out a 24% federal tax — or $8.8 million — and $4.7 million in additional federal taxes, and the winner is left with $23,137,045 per year, according to the website.