UPDATED ON 6: Mega Millions Jackpot Climbs To $586 Million For T - WNCT

UPDATED ON 6: Mega Millions Jackpot Climbs To $586 Million For Tuesday Night's Drawing

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Augusta, GA -

 

***UPDATED at 1:48 P.M. on Monday, December 16th***

The Mega Millions jackpot has been boosted to $586 million, a jump from the earlier projection but still trailing a $656 million prize last year that was the largest in U.S. history.

Paula Otto, executive director of the Virginia Lottery and Mega Millions' lead director says ticket sales are ahead of projections, one of the primary factors pushing the jackpot higher.

She says the jackpot may be increased one more time on Tuesday morning in advance of the evening drawing.

She says it's expected that between 65 and 75 percent of the 259 million possible number combinations will be in play when the numbers are drawn.

Strong weekend Mega Millions ticket sales easily could push Tuesday's jackpot above last year's record $656 million prize, a lottery official said.

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***POSTED at 10:31 A.M. on Monday, December 16th***

Tuesday night, Mega Millions® takes center stage with an drawing for an estimated $550 million jackpot, the second largest in game history.

Officials with Mega Millions® report strong weekend sales that could push the jackpot even higher, leaving many to wonder just how large this jackpot can get.

Lottery players have been fed a steady diet of supersized jackpots lately, dominated until now by Powerball®.

Within the last two years, we've witnessed a string of seven immense jackpots. Powerball® posted a $399 million jackpot in September, a $448 million jackpot in August, a $590 million jackpot in May, and in November of last year Powerball® swelled to $587 million.

Not to be forgotten, Mega Millions® took steps in late October to fuel its own brand of jackpot fever, having been the one to initiate the trend with a $656 million jackpot in March of last year.

With an over half-a-billion dollar jackpot drawing on the line for Tuesday, Mega Millions® design to up the odds of winning the jackpot while increasing the number of lower-tier prize winners appear to be working.

In South Carolina, Friday night's drawing created more than 154,000 winners that won anywhere from $1 to $10,000.

Sales are brisk, where big jackpot runs like this one could mean an additional $2 million to $5 million in funding for education in South Carolina.

Georgians, South Carolinians looking to take a chance on the $550 million jackpot with a cash payout of $295 million, must purchase $1 Mega Millions® tickets by 10 p.m. for Tuesday's 11 p.m. drawing.

The odds of winning the jackpot are long, about 1 in 259 million. Please, play responsibly.

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