MIDDLETOWN, Pa., Dec. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Driven by high-volume ticket sales, the Mega Millions® jackpot for tonight was increased at mid-day to an estimated $636 million annuity value. It is the second-largest jackpot in Mega Millions history, as well as the second-largest ever in North America.
Pennsylvania Lottery retailers are reporting very brisk sales. As of noon, Mega Millions tickets were selling at a rate of nearly 12,000 per minute, statewide. In Pennsylvania, Mega Millions tickets are sold until 9:59 p.m. on drawing nights.
If one ticket matches all six numbers drawn tonight for the $636 million jackpot, the winner will have the choice of receiving the full jackpot in 30 annual payments, or a cash prize of approximately $341.2 million before taxes.
The current jackpot has been growing since Oct. 1, when Mega Millions had its most recent jackpot winner. The jackpot has now rolled 21 times without a top-prize winner.
After there was no jackpot winner in the Mega Millions drawing on Friday, Dec. 13, the jackpot rolled to $550 million. It was increased to $586 million at mid-day on Monday.
Mega Millions players across Pennsylvania have won more than $5.5 million in non-jackpot prizes since this jackpot run began. In Friday's drawing, 563,718 Mega Millions players in Pennsylvania won $1,176,730 in prizes.
This is the largest jackpot since changes were made to Mega Millions that include larger starting jackpots, a million-dollar second prize, and a new matrix of 1-75 for the first five numbers and 1-15 for the Mega Ball number. The ticket price remains $1.
Mega Millions holds the U.S. record for the largest jackpot ever, at $656 million. That jackpot on March 30, 2012, was split by three winning tickets in Illinois, Kansas and Maryland.
The odds of winning the jackpot are approximately one in 259 million. The odds of winning any of the Mega Millions prizes are approximately 1-in-15.
Mega Millions tickets are sold in 43 states, Washington, D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Drawings are held on Tuesdays and Fridays. Learn more about the game online at www.megamillions.com.
How to Play Mega Millions: Mega Millions tickets cost $1 per play. Players pick five numbers from 1 to 75 and one number from 1 to 15 (the Mega Ball). Players may select their own numbers using a Mega Millions play slip, or they may opt for computer-selected quick picks.
For an extra $1 per play, players can add the Megaplier. Prior to the Mega Millions drawing, the Megaplier number – ranging from two to five – is randomly selected. The Megaplier applies to non-jackpot prizes.
About the Pennsylvania Lottery: The Pennsylvania Lottery remains the only state lottery that designates all its proceeds to programs that benefit older residents. Since its inception in 1971, the Pennsylvania Lottery has contributed nearly $23.7 billion to programs that include property tax and rent rebates; free transit and reduced-fare shared rides; the low-cost prescription drug programs PACE and PACENET; long-term living services; and the 52 Area Agencies on Aging, including full- and part-time senior centers throughout the state.
The Pennsylvania Lottery reminds its players to play responsibly. Players must be 18 or older. Players are urged to check every ticket, every time.
Media contact: Gary Miller, 717-702-8008
SOURCE Pennsylvania Lottery