Hold on to your hats! Mega Millions jackpot hits $636 million - WFXG FOX 54 - News Now

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Hold on to your hats! Mega Millions jackpot hits $636 million

(Source: CBS 5 News) (Source: CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

The Mega Millions jackpot skyrocketed higher Tuesday morning, reaching $636 million.

Ticket sales are ahead of projections and the jackpot could bump up one more time Tuesday morning before the drawing, a lottery official said.

Strong weekend sales that are being tabulated could push the jackpot over the world record of $656 million in March 2012, a Mega Millions official said.

This is the second-largest jackpot in the Mesa Millions history and the fourth largest in North America, Arizona lottery officials said.

The payout would be $341.2 million before taxes.

Since the jackpot started rolling Oct. 4, there have been nearly $1.5 million in prizes awarded in Arizona alone. This includes one $250,000 winner, three $10,000 winners and six $5,000 winners. In the last week alone, there have been more than 132,000 Mega Millions winners in Arizona, state lottery officials said.

The Mega Millions game was redesigned on Oct. 22 to have bigger starting jackpots, a $1 million second prize and better overall odds of winning any prize, while still remaining $1 per ticket, said a spokesman for the Arizona Lottery.

A jackpot winner has 60 days to choose either the cash option and receive a one-time, lump sum payment of $139 million, or a 30-year graduated annuity (5 percent escalation per annual payment).

The overall odds of winning any prize are about 1 in 40, but the odds of winning the jackpot are about 1 in 176 million.

Mega Millions drawings are every Tuesday and Friday. Sales stop on drawing nights at 7:59 p.m. Arizona time from the first Sunday in November through the second Saturday in March, and 6:59 p.m. Arizona time from the second Sunday in March through the first Saturday in November.

Tickets are sold in 42 states plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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