The estimated jackpot for Tuesday’s Mega Millions drawing has reached $550 million, making it the second-largest prize for the game and the fourth-largest overall in the United States.
The $550 million prize has a cash payout option of $295 million.
The highest jackpot, shared by winning ticket holders in three states, was $656 million in March 2012.
The odds of winning the jackpot used to be 1 in 176 million, but as of Oct. 22 the odds changed to 1 in 259 million. Players had been able to pick six numbers 1 through 56; now it’s 1 through 75 and the Mega numbers have decreased from 46 to 15.
The game is played in 43 states, as well as the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Lottery fever hits the Southland periodically as jackpots surge into the hundreds of millions. In May, Powerball boasted a $590.5-million prize.