Dec. 17, 2013 – The Mega Millions jackpot that has captured national attention in the past few weeks has just jumped in value again, growing to $636 million ahead of Tuesday night’s drawing.
This increase in the estimated value of the prize puts it just $20 million shy of the all-time record-high jackpot in U.S. lottery history, a $656 million Mega Millions prize from March 2012.
That jackpot was split by three winning tickets from Kansas, Illinois, and Maryland. Tonight’s drawing will decide if the record will be broken.
Paula Otto, director of the Virginia Lottery and the head of the multi-state Mega Millions, told the Chicago Tribune this morning that the jackpot prize was growing faster than expected
“If it doesn’t surpass the record, we’ll be close,” Otto told the Tribune Monday.
Tuesday’s spike in the jackpot’s value may not have claimed the top spot on the list of record U.S. jackpots, but it did knock a Powerball jackpot from second place.
Just yesterday, the Mega Millions jackpot ranked third behind the $590.5 million jackpot won by Gloria Mackenzie in May. The retiree from Florida still holds the record for the largest jackpot claimed by a single winner.
That could change Tuesday night. Millions of Americans are buying Mega Millions tickets in hopes that theirs will be the one to claim the $636 million jackpot.