The Michigan Lottery has been boosted by its iLottery offerings throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
And on Friday night, Michigan residents are among many nationally who have a chance to be more than saved by Mega Millions.
The jackpot for Friday’s Mega Millions is $336 million, and tickets are available online for Michigan residents for the 11 p.m. drawing.
Hitting five numbers on the white balls, numbered one through 70, and then the one gold ball, numbered one through 25, would net the full jackpot or a cash option of $265.6 million.
The Michigan Lottery lists the odds of winning the jackpot as 1 in 302,575,350.
In Tuesday’s drawing, a Michigan player was one number away from netting the $313 million jackpot, instead winning $10,000.
Mega Millions jackpot is highest of 2020
Friday’s jackpot would be the largest awarded since $375 million was won in December by The Great Hope Trust in Ohio.
The last jackpot awarded to a Michigan player was in October 2017, when Kevin and Stephanie Blake of Waterford split a $42 million jackpot with a winner from Rhode Island.
Michigan was one of the original six Mega Millions states in 1996, joining Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Virginia in what was then known as The Big Game.
Mega Millions is now available in 45 states plus Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
How to play Mega Millions in Michigan
In Michigan, players can have numbers randomly selected, pick each number, or play every combination of your favorite numbers. Tickets are available at lottery retailers or online.
Mega Millions tickets are $2. There are eight ways to win prizes other than the jackpot. Prize amounts range from $2 to $1 million. For $1 more per ticket, you can add the Megaplier, which could increase your non-jackpot prize by 2X, 3X, 4X, or 5X.
Mega Millions tickets are available for purchase online with a Michigan online lottery account.
iLottery sales up, lottery sales down during pandemic
Lottery spokesman Jake Harris told PlayMichigan on Friday that lottery sales are down about 26% during the pandemic.
He said in a period of about mid-March through the end of April, sales are down about $127.2 million compared to last year.
Meanwhile, in that same period, online lottery sales have increased 72% to $12.9 million.
Nearly 1,000 lottery retailers have suspended sales
Games such as Michigan Lottery Club Keno, Daily 3, Daily 4, Lucky for Life, and Poker Lotto are only available through retailers.
During the pandemic, some lottery retailers have chosen to suspend sales because of concerns about adhering to the governor’s stay-home order.
Harris said last month that more than 950 retailers had suspended sales.
He added that about 2,500 of the state’s more than 10,000 lottery retailers are bars and restaurants and half of those have had no sales for at least a month. In that group, lottery revenue was down 96% in this period, Harris said.
The state’s total revenue was down about $1 billion in April.
Lottery provides needed boost for Michigan schools
In the fiscal year ending in September 2019, there was a record $116.3 million in revenue from the iLottery.
In all, the Michigan Lottery contributed more than $1.07 billion to the state school aid fund last year, a record. The lottery also set records in total sales ($3.9 billion), prizes ($2.3 billion), and the retailer cut ($287.6 million).