Managing editor

Joseph Robertson $1M winner

In September, Joseph Robertson won $1 million in an instant game with a ticket purchased at Collierville Express Mart. 

Tonight there's a chance you could hit the highest Mega Millions jackpot in the game’s history. 

The second largest in U.S. jackpot history, the $970 million prize has been growing since a $543 million jackpot was won by an 11-member office pool in California in July. 

What are the odds?

The odds of winning any prize tonight are 1 in 24, the Tennessee Education Lottery said Friday. The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 303 million.

Mega Millions is played in 44 states, Washington, D.C., and in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Last month, Joseph Robertson won in the $1 Million Madness instant game with a ticket purchased from Collierville Express Market. 

If someone hits the Mega Millions jackpot tonight, the cash value is estimated at $548.6 million. 

The largest U.S. lottery payout was a $1.58 Billion Powerball jackpot won in January 2016 and shared by three winning tickets – one of which was sold in Munford, which is 45 minutes north of Collierville. 

The odds of winning that Powerball were 1 in 292.2 million. 

How do you play? 

When visiting a participating retailer, players select five numbers from 1 to 70 and one Mega Ball number from 1 to 25. There are nine prize tiers, ranging from $2 to the jackpot.

Tickets are $2. The Megaplier multiplier option is an additional $1. Prizes on all Megaplier tickets are multiplied except for the jackpot.

The drawing will be held at 10 p.m. tonight. 

What happens if you win?

In Tennessee, winners have 180 days to come forward to claim prizes. 

The jackpot winner will have a choice of annuity payment – which is an immediate payment with annual graduated payments for the next 29 years – or the cash option.

Lottery officials recommend players sign their tickets immediately after they're purchased.