Mega Millions
In this photo, an advertisement for the Mega Millions lottery is seen in San Francisco on June 23, 2005. Getty Images/ Justin Sullivan

The winning numbers of the $243 million Mega Millions jackpot was announced on Friday. No winner has stepped forward to claim the prize money yet.

The winning numbers are 24, 28, 42, 60 and 64 and the Mega Ball number is 8.

If you are the one who purchased the ticket with the winning numbers, it is always recommended that you sign the back of your ticket before you go popping the champagne. This way, no one will be able to claim your ticket if you happen to lose it or it gets stolen.

The next step is to get in touch with your lottery retailer or lottery district office in order to start the process of claiming your reward. The claiming period varies in each state, for example, in Florida, the winner has to claim the prize before 180 days of the drawing.

In the last 15 consecutive drawings, none of the ticket holders managed to win the grand prize. As a result, the prize money is steadily climbed toward the quarter of a billion dollar mark.

The last known winner of the Mega Millions jackpot was a 20-year-old man from Florida who won $451 million two months ago. Since then, 19 tickets worth $1 million or more have been sold.

The odds of buying a $1 million ticket are one in 12 million, which means that chances of winning the jackpot are lower. According to data scientists at the insurance company Allstate, the odds of winning a jackpot remain at 1 in 258.9 million for Mega Millions and 1 in 292.2 million for Powerball.

However, since a lottery ticket costs $2, unfavorable winning statistics does not discourage people from purchasing them in an attempt to try their luck.

According to CBS News, Americans are known to spend about $200 a year on lottery tickets. Nevertheless, there are states which tend to go a little overboard with their love of lotteries more than other states. 44 states in the United States, as well as Washington D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands, are known to participate in the Mega Millions lottery.

A vast number of Massachusetts residents spend $735 annually on lottery tickets, while Rhode Islanders are used to spending $514 a year to try their luck. Meanwhile, people living in Delaware or New York, are likely to spend about $400 a year, or $33 per month over lottery tickets.

Most of the people who buy the tickets end up winning anywhere between $1 and $50 via the “scratchers,” the odds of which are far better than winning the jackpot.

It became even harder to score a Mega Millions jackpot after the matrix of balls was altered in October 2017. The available white balls to be drawn from were reduced from 75 to 70. However, at the same time, Mega Ball numbers were increased from 15 to 25, reported.

Drawings for Mega Millions are held on Tuesday and Friday. On the other hand, the Powerball winning numbers will be announced on Saturday. The estimated jackpot is $321 million.