Mega Millions jackpot soaring
City News Service | 12/17/2013, 12:19 p.m.
Lottery fever was sweeping the Southland today, with the jackpot for the multi-state Mega Millions game soaring to $636 million, making it the second-largest lottery prize in U.S. history.
With dreamers flocking to lottery retailers throughout California and 42 other states -- plus the District of Columbia and U.S. Virgin Islands -- the jackpot could soon eclipse the record of $656 million, which was set in 2012.
Lottery officials said the jackpot grew by $50 million overnight. The odds, however, are not in anyone's favor when it comes to winning the big prize. The odds of matching all five numbers and the Mega number are 1 in 258,890,850, according to the Mega Millions website. The overall chance of winning a prize is 1 in 14.71.
Tonight's drawing will be at 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased until 7:45 p.m. A single winner of the $636 million prize, with a lump sum payment, would receive $341.2 million, according to the lottery.
Nobody has won a Mega Millions jackpot since Oct. 1, meaning there have been 21 drawings without a winner, and the jackpot continued growing.
On Friday, the numbers drawn were 19, 24, 26, 27, 70 and the Mega number was 12. The estimated jackpot for that drawing was $425 million. According to the California Lottery, roughly 70 percent of the nearly 259 million number combinations will be sold for tonight's drawing. But if nobody wins, lottery officials said it's possible the prize could reach the $1 billion mark.