File photo of money Daniel Borman, Creative Commons
Hide Caption

Mega Millions jackpot soars to $636 million

a a a a
Share this story
Show Related Headlines
Related Articles
Why do lottery players think they can defy odds?

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- The Mega Millions jackpot soared to an estimated $636 million on Tuesday, making it the second largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history.

The top prize had been estimated at $586 million, but lottery officials increased their prediction Tuesday morning because of strong ticket sales ahead of the evening drawing. The jackpot now trails only a $656 million Mega Millions pot that was sold in March 2012.

The cash option is $341 million, before taxes.

Mega Millions changed its rules in October to help increase the jackpots by lowering the odds of winning the top prize. That means the chances of winning the jackpot are now about 1 in 259 million.

Paula Otto, lead director for Mega Millions, said the jackpot estimate was increased after ticket sales surpassed expectations. She also said officials expect about 70 percent of the possible number combinations to be purchased.

"Our sales for tonight's drawing will be over $300 million," said Otto, also executive director of the Virginia Lottery. "Yesterday we had estimated that our sales would be about $240 million."

She noted that if a winner isn't selected either Tuesday night and for this 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.

Mega Millions is played in 43 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

RELATED: Why do lottery players think they can defy odds?

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Print this article

Comments

Hmm... It looks like you’re not a WCPO Insider. or Subscribe now to contribute!

More National News
GM faces another safety investigation
GM faces another safety investigation

General Motors is dealing with another government safety investigation. This time the car targeted is the 2014 Impala.

Internet TV case: Justices skeptical, concerned
Internet TV case: Justices skeptical, concerned

Grappling with fast-changing technology, Supreme Court justices debated Tuesday whether they can protect the copyrights of TV broadcasters to…

Airport security vulnerabilities not uncommon
Airport security vulnerabilities not uncommon

For all the tens of billions of dollars that the nation has spent on screening passengers and their bags, few airports made a comparable…

Supreme Court upholds ban on affirmative action
Supreme Court upholds ban on affirmative action

The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld Michigan's ban on using race as a factor in college admissions.

Infant found in Detroit home with dead mother
Infant found in Detroit home with dead mother

An infant is fighting for her life after she was left alone with her mother’s dead body for several days.

Netflix poised to raise prices after strong 1Q
Netflix poised to raise prices after strong 1Q

Netflix is preparing a sequel unlikely to be a hit with its subscribers. The Internet video service is about to raise its prices for the…

Grieving borrowers told to repay student loan
Grieving borrowers told to repay student loan

Some student loan borrowers who had a parent or grandparent co-sign the note are finding that they must immediately pay the loan in full if…

Earth Day: 6 ways to be greener right now
Earth Day: 6 ways to be greener right now

In honor of Earth Day, the Environmental Protection Agency has compiled a list of ways to start saving energy not just on April 22, but every day.

American wins Boston Marathon
American wins Boston Marathon

Meb Keflezighi wore the names of the four victims who died in 2013 on his running bib as he became the first American winner since 1985.

US marshal shoots defendant in federal court
US marshal shoots defendant in federal court

A U.S. marshal shot and critically wounded a defendant on Monday in a federal courthouse after the man rushed the witness stand with a pen at…