March 29th, 2012
12:17 PM ET

Mega Millions jackpot now at $640 million

[Update on Friday] The estimated jackpot for Friday's Mega Millions drawing has risen to $640 million, lottery officials said Friday.

[Posted at 1:57 p.m. ET Thursday] The estimated jackpot for Friday night's Mega Millions drawing rose Thursday to $540 million, extending what Mega Millions officials say already was going to be a world record for lottery jackpots.

Friday's jackpot initially was estimated at $476 million, and then $500 million, but stronger-than-anticipated sales nationwide have helped push up the figure, lottery officials said.

The previous world record for a single jackpot, according to Mega Millions officials, was that game's $390 million prize in a March 6, 2007, drawing. That jackpot was split by winners in Georgia and New Jersey.

The growing jackpot has drawn plenty of interest from would-be millionaires.

In Texas, one of the 42 states where Mega Millions is played, 482,763 standard $1 tickets - that is, tickets without the extra $1 Megaplier option - were sold from 11 a.m. to noon on Thursday, said Kelly Cripe, spokeswoman for the Texas Lottery Commission. In the same hour a day earlier, 143,605 tickets were told in Texas, Cripe said.

Mega Millions officials predict that $396 million in tickets will be sold nationwide from Wednesday through Friday's drawing, Cripe said. The estimate includes actual sales from Wednesday.

On Wednesday, lottery officials in Virginia estimated that the number of tickets sold in that state on Friday alone would be more than four times the 1.2 million tickets sold in Virginia on a Friday two weeks earlier, when the jackpot was $200 million.

"Sales are very, very strong in Virginia. It looks like we're seeing a lot more people who don't normally play want to get in the game," Virginia Lottery spokesman John Hagerty said Wednesday afternoon.

Friday's $540 million prize would be payable as an annuity over 26 years. If a winner prefers, he or she could choose a one-time, lump-sum payment, which in this case would be $389 million. Both figures are before taxes.

Friday's jackpot rolled over from Tuesday's drawing for a $363 million prize, which no one won. The prize has been building since January 24, when a Georgia woman won a $72 million Mega Millions drawing.

The biggest single-ticket win in the other nationwide lottery, Powerball, was in February 2006 when a ticket held by eight workers at a Nebraska food plant paid a $365 million jackpot.

Mega Millions is played in 42 states plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

A jackpot-winning ticket must match all five numbers drawn from a pot containing 56 balls and then match the Mega Ball, which is drawn from a pot containing 46 numbers. Odds of winning are almost 176 million to 1. Each regular ticket costs $1.

Jackpots start at $12 million and rise for subsequent drawings when jackpot-winning tickets aren't sold.

iReport.com: What would you do with $500 million?

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Filed under: Lotto
soundoff (378 Responses)
  1. cobbius

    If I won, I'd run for president of the US, I'm an adulterer, racist, bigoted, white trash, trailer park king who lives off federal funds....I qualify to be president....oh yeah...I'm a Mormon.

    March 29, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • cmack

      I think you have a misspelling...it's Moron.

      March 29, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  2. itabitha

    I bought one just for the heck of it.

    The rest of you, don't count your chickens before they are hatched. LOL

    March 29, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bastian Avser

    VIOLENT WORLD PSYCHIATRY-PSYCHOLOGY REVEALED(mindless mkultra crimes performed by police and psychiatrists/psychologists)

    USE OF MKULTRA + HUNGER GAMES TODAY....STATE OF THE ART EXPLANATION ON MIND CONTROL TECHNIQUES(violent world of government psychiatry/psychology and police revealed..... learn exactly per how is done and by whom... use of psychology/psychiatry for mass population or ethnic cleansing as well as crimes to which we witness daily on behalf of Zionism/communism/liberalism). SELF ELECTED GOVERNMENTS GOING AS FAR AS USING PEDOPHILIA TO RESOLVE THEIR MINDLESS CRIMINAL POLITICAL ISSUES AGAINST TARGETED VICTIMS WHILE BLAIMING IT ALL ON CHURCH !!!

    https://dailymotion.com/video/xpqc0u

    COMING NEXT....LEARN TRUTH ABOUT DAVID DUKE OR OBAMA OR RATHER US GOVERNMENT – 70 YEARS OLD NEWS(including Eastern European Ethnic cleansing for the sake of Slavic super state or Soviet Union number two). WHY TO TALK ABOUT MIND CONTROL WHEN WE ARE DEALING WITH ETHNIC CLEANSING.

    https://dailymotion.com/video/xpmelt

    https://dailymotion.com/video/xpkfh7

    All related to WHITES ARE NOT WELCOME IN AMERICA ANY LONGER !!! http://www.youtube.com/user/BostjanAvsec or rather http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xleq3o OBAMA'S HEALTH CARE RECORDED LIVE IN 2009 !!! EXILING WHITES(US citizens) WITH EXTREME PREJUDICE AND IMPORTING NON WHITES IMMIGRATION REQUIREMENTS FREE !!! WHY TO ACCEPT LIABILITIES FOR CRIMES COMMITTED WHEN WE CAN SIMPLY ASSASSINATE OUR VICTIMS(YOU) THANKS TO HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS AND FREE PRESS/MEDIA(most severe CENSORSHIP OF GENOCIDE in entire history of human kind) !! NOT HUMAN RIGHTS COURTS, BUT ORGANIZERS OF GENOCIDE AGAINST WHITES AND SPONSORS OF BOGUS "MULTICULTURALISM" CLAIMS AT EXPENSE OF WHITES !!!

    REMINDER...MY YOUTUBE ACCOUNT WAS HIJACKED(March 07th, 2012) BY US GOVERNMENT WHILE PRIMARY E-MAIL AS WELL AS BLOGS WERE ALL SHUT DOWN FOR THE SAKE OF CENSORSHIP REGARDING GENOCIDE AGAINST ME PERSONALLY THAT INVOLVED ABDUCTIONS / MK-ULTRA BRAINWASHING / FORCED BRAIN ELECTRODE – CHIP IMPLANTS / HUMAN EXPERIMENTATION / BLACKLISTING / FORCEFUL UNEMPLOYMENT AND ASSASSINATIONS AGAINST WHITE(under "NAZI" lie) CIVILIAN POPULATION TODAY IN 2011/2012 ACROSS THE EUROPE AND NORTHERN AMERICA !!!

    March 29, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • What

      Dude SHUT UP!!!

      March 29, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Brandon

    I'd give most of it to Ron Paul.

    March 29, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  5. William Mosher

    Some fun things to do if you win. billsgoodread.com/2012/03/28/jackpot/

    March 29, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Dale

    If I were to win, I would find me a nice quiet pretty place build me a sturdy home and tell the rest of the world go to you know where.

    March 29, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  7. ron

    If my dentist hasn't raised his prices again maybe I could get a couple teeth capped that I have dreamed about doing for
    several years (:

    March 29, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Rod in Texas

    I'd offer the Republican candidate a bribe to drop out. I wonder how fast they'd show their true colors and take the money and run!

    March 29, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  9. John123

    Dude, if you win YOU WON'T NEED HEALTH "INSURANCE"!!!

    March 29, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  10. kevin

    Lottery is a scam. They shut the machines early, to run the numbers and choose which number combination hasn't been picked. Then rig the balls to call those numbers. I have noticed throughout the year, there is one huge lottery drawing every season, winter, spring, summer, fall. Helps boost sales and profits. The biggest lottery jackpots have both been when gas has been at it's highest. Remember what im telling you. This is the spring jackpot. Wait till Summer, you'll see a big one then too. If it's not true, why are lottery machines shut down 1 hr before the drawing?

    March 29, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Tired balls?

      March 29, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • danojeep

      Where do you play....here in PA I can buy a ticket 5 minutes before the drawing?

      March 29, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Luke

      Gas is higher so they have to buy it more often. Gas stations sell lotto tickets so rise of gas = more tickets sold?

      March 29, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Donnie

      So that idiots like you can't go in and claim they bought their tickets one minute BEFORE the drawing even though you bought it one minute after with the "right" numbers and get your facts straight, the machines close 15 minutes before a drawing. You can't rig the lottery dude and you can't use mathematics or any other academic strategy to determine the numbers or else every ph.D professor smart enough would make it their life's work to crack it and wait for an opportunity like this.

      March 29, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Kevin

    If I won I'd give it all to the re-elect Obama campaign.

    March 29, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • What

      I am sorry your life is that pathetic!!! LOL

      March 29, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  12. TownC

    Getting something for nothing or very little is wrong. Our children are learning that getting rich quick or getting something for nothing is okay. Work and lots of it made America great. We need to return to our core values.

    March 29, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan the Man

      TownC...you're absolutely correct, but I'm going to play anyway for the first time in my life.

      March 29, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • What

      Okay Ricky, whatever you say! Get a life!!!

      March 29, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Alex

    So, one or a few person(s) gets more money than they could ever need in several lifetimes. Gotta love capitalism.

    March 29, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Peter Gibbons

    I would do absolutely nothing

    March 29, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  15. lucky

    I'm going to try winning at http://lotterywinnerszone.com . I hear they are really good, and not expensive at all!

    March 29, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
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