msnbc.com
updated 3/26/2011 1:18:16 AM ET 2011-03-26T05:18:16

The Mega Millions jackpot reached $312 million Friday and if a single jackpot-winning ticket was sold in the multi-state drawing it could be one of the largest jackpots ever.

The numbers drawn were: 22-24-31-52-54, Mega Ball: 4

Organizers expect to know if there is a winning jackpot ticket by Saturday morning.

After the winning total reached $304 million on Friday, hopeful ticket buyers in the 41 Mega Millions states and the District of Columbia bumped up the amount by another $8 million and counting.

A winning ticket holder must correctly pick all five winning numbers, plus the Mega Ball, and has 60 days to choose a payout option. If a winner choose a one-time cash payment, he or she could take home $198 million before taxes. The full $312 million would be paid out over 26 years.

But don't quit your day job yet: Odds of winning are about 176 million to 1.

Vote: Will you buy a lottery ticket?

The last time a single ticket holder correctly chose all 6 Mega Millions numbers was on Feb. 1, when two winners split the $91 million jackpot. In January, two Pacific Northwest winners split a $380 million pot.

Story: Texan may be world's luckiest lottery winner

Friday night's jackpot is one of the five largest in the lottery's history, and the second-highest jackpot in 2011. If no one wins, Tuesday's drawing could become even larger.

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