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Mega Millions Jackpot Expected To Top $360M

March 26, 2012, 6:00 PM by Peggy Moyer

Mega Millions Jackpot Expected To Top $360M

There's a near-record multi-million dollar lottery jackpot up for grabs Tuesday night.

Nobody's hit the Mega Millions jackpot since January, driving Tuesday's jackpot to more than $360 million and making it the third largest in the game's history.  With a prize that large, it's starting to grab people's attention.

Jean Cram says everyone comes to her counter with the same lottery request.

"They're like, 'sell me that winning one.' Well, I'll do the best I can,” Lewis Customer Service Supervisor Jean Cram said.

The Mega Millions jackpot is expected to reach $363 million by Tuesday night's drawing. The hopes of winning that much money has people buying tickets who don't normally play Mega Millions.

"Today, I came to get a Powerball and she told me about the Mega. So, I had to try that one too," Sioux Falls resident Connie Altman said.

"People are just now getting used to Mega Millions in South Dakota.  So, it's new to them and they're not quite sure if it's the same as the Powerball, the Wild Card and the other things that we've sold here at the store," Cram said.

The state lottery office says the size of the jackpot is what drives the popularity of game. 

"The thing with lotto games is that the jackpots really drive the ticket sales. So, the larger the jackpot, the more we will see in sales," South Dakota Lottery Director Norm Lingle said.

Lotto games contributed approximately $25 million to the state's revenue last year.

If you win and take the cash pay-out for this Mega Millions jackpot you'll pocket around $260 million. A South Dakota resident has never won the Mega Millions jackpot since the state joined the game nearly two years ago. 
Your odds of winning are about one in 176-million for the Tuesday drawing.

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