Mega Millions numbers picked in Friday's $1.28 billion drawing

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The $1.28 billion jackpot for Friday's Mega Millions drawing is now

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 the second largest lottery prize in the lottery game's 20-year history and the nation's third.

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Why this matters: Americans have bet hundreds of millions of dollars

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 on lottery tickets over the past two days, pushing the US lottery

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jackpot to more than $1 billion for only the fourth time, writes Felix Salmon of Axios.

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According to a news release, the July 29 jackpot is worth $747.2 million

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The jackpot was estimated at $1.1 billion on Thursday, but lottery officials updated the numbers on Friday.

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State of the Game: If no one wins Friday's Mega Millions jackpot, lottery

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 officials said the prize could potentially increase to $1.7 billion for August.

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 officials said the prize could potentially increase to $1.7 billion for August.

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