Lottery players from coast to coast are lining up for the hottest jackpot of the holiday season.
Friday night's Mega Millions® drawing is for an estimated $400 million, the second-largest jackpot in Mega Millions® history, and the fifth-largest seen in North America.
The winner will have a choice between a cash payout of $216.4 million or the full jackpot amount paid in 30 payments of about $12 million each.
Players in South Carolina hope that decision falls to one of their own in a repeat performance of what occurred in September, when a Powerball® ticket worth nearly the same amount, $399 million, was sold in Lexington.
The occasion would mark South Carolina's first Mega Millions® jackpot win.
The run up to the $400 million jackpot began October 1 and has rolled 20 times without a winner.
Odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 259 million. The odds of winning any Mega Millions® prize are approximately 1 in 15.
Mega Millions holds the record for the largest jackpot ever, at $656 million. That jackpot on March 30, 2012, was split by three winning tickets in Illinois, Kansas and Maryland.
South Carolinians looking to take a chance on the $400 million jackpot, must purchase their tickets by 10 p.m. on Friday for the 11 p.m. drawing.