Mega Millions Jackpot Reaches $636 Million, Still Climbing - WSET.com - ABC13

Mega Millions Jackpot Reaches $636 Million, Still Climbing

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Richmond, VA - The jackpot for Tuesday night's Mega Millions drawing has now grown to $636 million dollars.

If the trend continues, the jackpot could hit the billion dollar mark.

It's beginning to look a lot like a very green Christmas for one soon to be jolly American.

The epic Mega Million dollar jackpot is at a whopping $636 million and climbing.

"We have never been in this position, to have a jackpot this tremendous, over half a billion dollars already, the week before Christmas," said Lead Director for Mega Millions, Paula Otto.

Lottery officials say if there is no winner in Tuesday night's drawing, the prize will swell to $800 million, possibly a billion by Christmas. The lottery hype is causing a very festive frenzy for what could end up becoming one of the largest lottery winnings in history.

"This time of year around Christmas, lottery tickets make great gifts, people are thinking about gift giving," said Todd Northrop, Founder of Lotterypost.com.

The Mega Millions is one of the biggest jackpots in the world right now, and the fourth largest in U.S. history.

If no one wins Tuesday night, it will likely surpass the largest U.S. payout set in March 2012 by over 100 million.

"Winning the Mega Millions is akin to getting struck by lightning at the same time you're being eaten by a shark. I mean, it's pretty wild how long the odds are," Northrop explained.

In October, Mega Millions lottery increased the range of numbers you can get on the five balls from 56 to 75, dramatically decreasing your chances of winning.

Since then, there have been 21 consecutive drawings without a winner.

The reason: you're up against the worst off of any U.S. Lottery.

To clinch the jackpot, you'll have to strike the winning number combo out of an amazing 259 million combinations.

A lottery official told the Associated Press that by the next drawing, 70% of possible combinations will be sold, but that's still no guarantee someone will win the mega bucks.

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