|By Marketwired .||
|December 17, 2013 01:18 PM EST||
PHOENIX, AZ -- (Marketwired) -- 12/17/13 -- The Mega Millions jackpot has been increased $50 million from $586 million to $636 million for tonight's draw. This is the second largest jackpot in history. The cash option would be $341.2 million, before taxes.
The jackpots are established based on a forecast of ticket sales. In this case, the ticket sales have outpaced the forecast, resulting in the increase of the estimated jackpot amount.
Since the jackpot started growing on Oct. 1, there have been more than $2.8 million in prizes awarded in Arizona alone. This includes one $250,000 winner, three $10,000 winners and 13 $5,000 winners. In the last drawing alone, there were more than 244,324 Mega Millions winners in Arizona.
"We are quickly approaching record-breaking jackpot territory," said Karen Bach, director of budget, products and communications for the Arizona Lottery. "If the jackpot rolls again tonight, we could be looking at a billion dollar Mega Millions jackpot by Christmas Eve."
Mega Millions tickets remain $1 each. Players select five out of 75 numbers, then select one out of 15 for the Mega Ball number. Players also can pay an extra $1 for the Megaplier®, which multiplies winnings, excluding the jackpot, up to five times the original amount. Drawings are held on Tuesdays and Fridays. The game is played in 43 states, plus Washington, D.C. and the Virgin Islands.
The largest Mega Millions jackpot was the world record-breaking $656 million prize, which was won in March 2012.
Tickets for Tuesday's Mega Millions draw can be purchased at any Arizona Lottery retailer until 7:59 p.m. Tuesday evening. Players can check their tickets by visiting ArizonaLottery.com.
Players must be 21 years or older to purchase or redeem tickets. Winners have 180 days from the drawing date to claim their prize at an Arizona Lottery office or by mail. Overall odds vary by game. All sales are final. In accordance with the ADA, these materials may be made available in an alternative format. Gambling Problem? Call 1.800.NEXT STEP (1-800-639-8783). Please Play Responsibly.
About the Arizona Lottery
The Arizona Lottery operates entirely from the revenue it generates through the sale of its products; it receives no General Fund dollars from the State. Proceeds from sales of Lottery tickets - nearly $3.4 million per week - fund a variety of state programs. Since July 1981, the Arizona Lottery has paid out more than $5.4 billion in prizes to players, more than $3 billion in net funding to the state and more than $638 million in commissions to retailers. Learn more at ArizonaLottery.com.