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After 34 drawings without a winner, Mega Millions jackpot swells to $454 million

Tuesday's Mega Millions jackpot is the seventh largest for any U.S. lottery game. Ticket sales, like those of this old one, grew over the holiday weekend.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

The Mega Millions lottery jackpot continued to grow over the weekend, reaching a staggering $454 million for Tuesday night’s drawing — the third largest in the game’s history.

“It’s like the little engine that could. It just keeps chugging along,” said California State Lottery spokesman Alex Traverso.

The game’s prize has rolled over 34 times since the last winner on March 8. It’s the seventh largest jackpot for any U.S. lottery game, Traverso said.

Though the jackpot may not be as jaw-dropping as the $1.6-billion Powerball jackpot in January, it’s the biggest Mega Millions jackpot this year and is worth $319.7 million if paid out in a single lump sum.

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The last time any U.S. lottery game had a bigger payout was in May, when Powerball climbed to $429.6 million.

Mega Millions is played in 44 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Players pick five numbers between 1 and 75 and one “Mega” number from 1 to 15. Mega Millions tickets cost $1 each, as opposed to the $2 Powerball game.

The odds of matching all six numbers are 1 in 258,890,850.

Three tickets claimed a portion of the $1.6-billion Powerball jackpot, including one player in California. That person has yet to step forward to claim his or her share of the prize.

For breaking California news, follow @JosephSerna on Twitter.

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