DRAWING TONIGHT: Mega Millions Lottery Hits $425 Million - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

DRAWING TONIGHT: Mega Millions Lottery Hits $425 Million

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KHQ.COM - Mega Millions' jackpot for tonight's drawing has been raised to $425 million for the annuity, remaining the fifth biggest in U.S. lottery history, second biggest ever for Mega Millions.

No jackpot this big has ever rolled over.

Then again, Mega Millions has much longer odds than it did just two months ago.

If it does survive tonight's 11 o'clock drawing, the all-time mark of $656 million, set by Mega Millions in March 2012, could fall.

That jackpot was fueled by a sales frenzy never seen before or since, with a $356 million jackpot skyrocketing by $300 million in just three days.

This time, the record might yield to a slower approach.

"We did some quick math and believe that if we roll until Christmas Eve ... we would be at a billion!" said Paula Otto, executive director of the Virginia Lottery and top official with the Mega Millions Consortium.

At the rate gigantic jackpots have been happening, if this jackpot doesn't hit 10 figures, "it could happen in 2014," she said.

Since Powerball went to $2 tickets and $40 million minimum jackpots in January 2012, the lottery record books have been rewritten.

At that time, the biggest prize ever was a Mega Millions jackpot of $390 million won in March 2007.

Now that's in seventh place. After the Mega Millions record that March, Powerball started dominating, racking up jackpots of $587 million (November 2012), $590.5 million (May 2013), $448.4 million (August 2013) and $399.4 million (September 2013).

For a year and half, Mega Millions failed to crack the $200 million barrier.

So, on Oct. 22, Mega Millions was overhauled, with much longer odds – 1 in 259 million per ticket instead of 1 in 175 million – and second prizes ranging from $1 million to $5 million (with
$1 Megaplier multiplier option).

The jackpot hasn't been hit since.

In the meantime, Powerball was hit three times, including Wednesday night, when two tickets, sold in Massachusetts and Nebraska, hit a jackpot worth $122.9 million for the annuity, $69 million for the cash. They matched all the numbers drawn: 1, 10, 13, 18 and 19, with a Powerball of 27.

As a result, Saturday's Powerball jackpot will be worth $40 million – and more players will notice Mega Millions is peddling a much bigger dream for half the price.

Seven states had $1 million winners.

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