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Mega Millions jackpot: Nears record in final hours before drawing

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Mega Millions jackpot: Nears record in final hours before drawing

Mega Millions jackpot nears a new record reaching $636 million. The jackpot soared in advance of Tuesday's draw. According to the Los Angeles Times on Dec. 17, it is closing in on record $656 million haul set in March 2012.

Paula Otto, Virginia's lottery director, who heads the multi-state Mega Millions game, told CBS that if no one wins Tuesday -- a 1 in 259 million chance -- the jackpot could very well pass the $1-billion mark by Christmas Eve.

Mega Millions jackpot cash option pays $314 million as it stands. This could be the answer to many dreams. Lotto fans certainly have the fever to win this time of year. Odds are long, but the urge is irresistible.

Tickets for the Mega Millions jackpot are available for purchase in 43 states. Drawings are held twice weekly on Tuesday and Friday nights. For residents of certain states like California, the prizes are only subject to Federal tax, not state or local. Winners have between 180 days and 1 year to claim their prizes depending on which state the ticket was purchased in.

This year and last have been record setting for multi-state lotteries like Mega Millions and competitor Powerball. Once unheard of, a $1 billion jackpot seems within in reason and the realm of possibility.

What do you think about the Mega Millions jackpot story? Please drop in your comments below.

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