Mega Millions jackpot climbs to $586 million

A woman purchases a Mega Millions lottery ticket at a Financial District liquor store Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013, in San Francisco.

December 16, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Strong weekend Mega Millions ticket sales pushed Tuesday's jackpot closer to last year's record $656 million prize.

No ticket matched the six numbers needed to win Friday's $425 million prize. It was raised Saturday to $550 million for Tuesday's drawing - the fourth largest in U.S. history. On Monday, it was raised again to $586 million -- with a cash option of $316 million.

Paula Otto, executive director of the Virginia Lottery and Mega Millions' lead director says ticket sales are ahead of projections, one of the primary factors pushing the jackpot higher.

"I think we'll be very close to the record, and maybe even surpass it," Otto said, adding that sales are difficult to predict.

"Lotto players are procrastinators. They tend to buy on the day of the draw," she said.

She says the jackpot may be increased one more time on Tuesday morning in advance of the evening drawing.

She says it's expected that between 65 and 75 percent of the 259 million possible number combinations will be in play when the numbers are drawn.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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