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Mega Millions jackpot: Long odds, but these shops have a record

The luckiest place, mathematically speaking, to buy Tuesday night's winning Mega Millions ticket in California may be Kavanagh Liquors in San Lorenzo, which has sold four tickets over the years worth $1 million or more.

Kavanagh, in Alameda County, tops the California Lottery's list of "lucky retailers" -- shops that have sold tickets of $1 million or more.

Five stores have sold three such tickets, including three in Los Angeles County: Mr. C's Liquor in San Pedro, Town and Country Newstand in Los Angeles and Mike's Beverage Shop in Quartz Hill.

Several other stores in L.A. County, including Del Gaudio's Market in Pacoima and Liquorland in Covina, have sold two.

At Mike’s Beverage Shop, an employee who gave his name only as Ed, said he expected more traffic in the afternoon, when "we’ll get the crowd and the big lines.”

“The store’s striked [the jackpot] three times, three winners. Why not the fourth time?” he said.

Tuesday night's jackpot began Tuesday morning at $586 million and has since soared to an estimated $636 million, which has a cash payout of $341.2 million. The jump makes the jackpot the second largest Mega Millions ever.

The largest lottery record stands at $656 million, which was split by winners from three states in 2012.

Lottery officials estimate that 70% of the 259 million possible number combinations have been sold so far, leaving about a 30% chance that an overall winner may not emerge.

If nobody wins tonight, it's plausible that the public could be looking at the "once-unthinkable" $1 billion jackpot, lottery officials said in a news release.

The deadline to buy a ticket for Tuesday night's 8 p.m. drawing is at 7:45 p.m.

The Mega Millions game is played in 43 states as well as the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Chances of winning are 1 in 259 million. 

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Twitter: @aribloomekatz | Facebook

ari.bloomekatz@latimes.com

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