Mega Millions jackpot grows to $454 million

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RICHMOND, Va. — The jackpot for Tuesday’s Mega Millions drawing has jumped to $454 million. The Virginia Lottery credited the jackpot increase to “heavy sales of Mega Millions tickets in Virginia and nationwide.”

The winning Mega Million numbers will be drawn Tuesday at 11 p.m.

A winner can take the payout over a span of 29 years unless they decide to take a smaller, lump sum payment.

Powerball — the only other major multi-state lottery — has had the biggest jackpots as of late, including a record shattering $1.59 billion pot in January and a $430 million pool won in May.

Mega Millions’ biggest prizes to date were a $656 million prize awarded in March 2012, and $648 million awarded in December 2013.

While the odds against winning either game are astronomical, Mega Millions is a slightly better bet.

Mega Millions players have a 1 in 259 million chance of matching all five white ball numbers and the “Megaplier” yellow ball number needed to claim the top prize. In Powerball, which has nearly identical rules, there’s a 1 in 292 million chance.

Mega Millions is also cheaper to play. The tickets start at $1 each, while Powerball tickets are $2.

Mega Millions is played in 44 U.S. states, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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