MEGA MILLIONS: Jackpot soars to $636M - KMSP-TV

MEGA MILLIONS: Jackpot soars to $636M

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Winning is still a long shot with the odds at just 1 in 259 million, but with $636 million at stake, many people are buying up tickets to see if lady luck will land them one of the largest jackpots in history.

WINNING NUMBERS: 8, 14, 17, 20, 39; Mega Ball: 7

The sum ranks as the second-largest Mega Millions jackpot in history, and the 2nd biggest in the history of the U.S. lottery.


TOP 3 POTS IN HISTORY

No. 1 - $656 million Mega Millions jackpot on March 30, 2012
No. 2 - $590.5 million Powerball jackpot on May 18, 2013
No. 3 - $587.5 million Powerball jackpot on Nov. 28, 2012


It is rare that one person will claim the total amount. The last Mega Millions jackpot over $600 million was split between winners in Kansas, Illinois and Maryland -- but each got a nice chunk of change.

Tuesday night's jackpot total swelled after Friday the 13th superstitions didn't stop people from trying their luck and boosting the jackpot by another $25 million.

Tickets are selling at a pace that surpassed even the lottery's expectations.

"We estimate by drawing time we'll be about $75 million ahead in sales," said Paula Otto, executive director of the Virginia Lottery and lead director for Mega Millions.

Otto said officials expect about 70 percent of the possible number combinations to be purchased for Tuesday night's drawing. She also noted that if a winner isn't selected either Tuesday night or for Friday's drawing, the jackpot could hit $1 billion -- an unheard of amount for Mega Millions or Powerball, the nation's two main lottery games.

The drawing is scheduled for 10 p.m. The cash option is estimated at $341 million, before taxes.

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