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Mega Millions prize climbs to $667 million, making it the nation's third largest ever

Mega Millions prize climbs to $667 million, making it the nation's third largest ever
After nearly three months without a winner, the Mega Millions lottery game has climbed to an estimated $667 million jackpot. (Gerry Broome / Associated Press)

The Mega Millions prize was already giant, but now it's absolutely massive.

Lottery officials have raised the estimated jackpot for Tuesday night's drawing to $667 million, making it the third-largest grand prize in U.S. history. The increase from $654 million reflects a surge in ticket sales.

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The record lottery jackpot remains a $1.6 billion Powerball prize won in January 2016.

Although the Mega Millions prize has grown larger, the odds of winning remain the same at 1 in 302.5 million.

The $667-million jackpot refers to the annuity option, paid out over 29 years. The cash option, which is favored by nearly all winners, is $380 million.

The last time anyone won the jackpot was July 24, when a group from California claimed a $543-million prize.

Mega Millions is played in 44 states — including California — as well as Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

California has had winners in three of the top 10 largest jackpots. Here is a look at the 10 largest U.S. jackpots that have been won and the states where the winning tickets were sold:

1. $1.6 billion, Powerball, Jan. 13, 2016 (three tickets, from California, Florida, Tennessee)

2. $758.7 million, Powerball, Aug. 23, 2017 (one ticket, from Massachusetts)

3. $656 million, Mega Millions, March 30, 2012 (three tickets, from Kansas, Illinois and Maryland)

4. $648 million, Mega Millions, Dec. 17, 2013 (two tickets, from California and Georgia)

5. $590.5 million, Powerball, May 18, 2013 (one ticket, from Florida)

6. $587.5 million, Powerball, Nov. 28, 2012 (two tickets, from Arizona and Missouri)

7. $564.1 million, Powerball, Feb. 11, 2015 (three tickets, from North Carolina, Puerto Rico and Texas)

8. $559.7 million, Powerball, Jan. 6, 2018 (one ticket, New Hampshire)

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9. $543 million, Mega Millions, July 24, 2018 (one ticket, California)

10. $536 million, Mega Millions, July 8, 2016 (one ticket, from Indiana)

10:30 a.m.: This article was updated with the Mega Millions jackpot growing to $667 million.

This article was originally published at 7:30 a.m.

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