That jackpot has been building since it was last won at $42 million on Oct. 13.
Mega Millions — in an effort to compete more with Powerball — changed rules after the Oct. 27 drawing, boosting the initial jackpot and seeking to allow prizes to grow faster and higher, officials said.
To win Mega Millions now, players must match five white balls from 1 to 70 and one red Mega Ball number from 1 to 25. The new rules decreased the number of white balls from 75 and increased the red balls by 10. That shifted the odds of winning the top prize from about 1 in roughly 259 million the 1 in nearly 303 million.
The chance of winning any prize in Mega Millions changed from 1 in 15 before to 1 in 24 now, and the chance of winning the $1 million prize for matching five white balls improved from 1 in 18.5 million to 1 in 12.6 million.
Mega Millions, played in 44 states, also raised ticket prices from $1 to $2 when the changes began. Powerball already had charged $2 for years, and it made similar rules changes in 2015.
Experts remind players to that it is more likely to be struck by lightning — about 1 in 1.1 million — than to win a jackpot, and taxes will claim a significant chunk of any winnings.