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Mega Millions jackpot surges to $425 million for tonight's drawing

Mega Millions could bestow its second-largest payout in jackpot history Friday after swelling to $425 million, lottery officials said.

Ticket sales for the jackpot have surged across the nation since Wednesday to generate a possible $60 million to $90 million in sales before winning numbers are announced at 8 p.m. PST, said Alex Traverso, a spokesman for the California Lottery.

Mega Millions is offered in 43 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The largest jackpot so far this year went to a family in Maryland who won $189 million in October.

The cash payout for the jackpot sat at a respectable $216.4 million as of Wednesday, but then jumped up. A winning California ticket could also be a boon for any of the 21,000-plus retail locations selling tickets. The store owner gets a $1-million bonus payout for selling the winning ticket.

“That’s a huge amount of money that could change the owner’s life as well," Traverso said.

The public has until 7:45 p.m. to buy a ticket for tonight's drawing.


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