(UPDATE: The jackpot has now hit a record $667 million for the Oct. 16 drawing.)
The Mega Millions jackpot has surged to record territory after no ticket matched all six numbers in Friday's drawing.
Tuesday's estimated $654 million jackpot would be the second-largest prize in Mega Millions history, lottery officials said. The record prize for Mega Millions was $656 million for the March 30, 2012, drawing.
"It’s so exciting for our players, and all of us, to see the Mega Millions jackpot getting so close to an all-time record level," said Gordon Medenica, Lead Director of the Mega Millions Consortium and Director of Maryland Lottery and Gaming. "With a little luck, we may still break that record by Tuesday."
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The jackpot has been growing since July, when a group of California office workers won $543 million.
Three other Mega Millions jackpots have been won this year – $451 million on January 5 (Florida), $533 million on March 30 (New Jersey), and $142 million on May 4 (Ohio).
It costs $2 to play the game, but the odds of instant wealth aren't good. The chance of matching all six numbers and winning the jackpot is one in 302.5 million.
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Mega Millions is played in 44 states as well as Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history was a $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot won in January 2016 by players in three states. That would make the estimated jackpot for Tuesday's Mega Millions drawing the fourth largest overall.