Win $500 million!

Nickalas Tabbert

Want an easy way to make $500 million?  Just win the Mega Millions jackpot this Friday night.

Ok, so it's not that easy. 

The jackpot is for real, and is now the largest in U.S. lottery history, Georgia officials say, after it passed the $500 million mark Wednesday.

The odds of winning the big pay are 1 in 175 million, the Minnesota State Lottery says. 

The next drawing will occur this Friday at 11:00 p.m. (Eastern Time).  You can watch the drawing on four Minnesota stations, including KSTC-TV in Minneapolis/St. Paul, the Mega Millions website said.

The previous Mega Millions record was $390 million, won by two players in Georgia and New Jersey in March 2007, the Star Tribune said.

Minnesota is one of 42 states in which Mega Millions is played.  Drawings are held Tuesday and Friday at WSB-TV in Atlanta.

 Each jackpot starts at $12 million and each play costs $1.00.  Players select five out of 56 numbers, then select one out of 46 for the Mega Ball number, the website said.  Matching all five white balls plus the Mega Ball wins you the jackpot.

There are 41,416,353 ways of selecting the six numbers, a statistics expert told KFSN-TV in Fresno.

In addition to the jackpot, there are eight ways to win set cash prize amounts in Minnesota, ranging from $3 to $250,000.

If you win, you have 60 days to claim your prize.  There are two options of receiving payment: 26 equal annual payments or one equivalent lump-sump, the Minnesota State Lottery said.

The first Mega Millions drawing occurred on May 17, 2002.  Minnesota joined the game on January 31, 2010.