Mega Millions ticket sales soar in Indiana as jackpot reaches record

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As the jackpot keeps rising, Mega Millions ticket sales are skyrocketing in Indiana.

The Mega Millions jackpot is expected to hit at least $1.6 billion before Tuesday night's next drawing, making it the biggest lottery prize in U.S. history.

According to the Hoosier Lottery, more than 3 million Mega Millions tickets were sold statewide Friday after the jackpot climbed to about $1 billion. That’s compared to 537,000 tickets sold a week before, on Oct. 12, when the jackpot would have been about $548 million.

The next Mega Millions drawing is Tuesday at 11 p.m. Indiana cuts off ticket sales 16 minutes before the drawing.

The immediate lump-sum grand prize would be $904.4 million for a single winning ticket, or the optional $53.3 million annually for 30 years. The federal government would claim about a quarter of the payout in taxes.   

To win the grand prize, the ticket must match all six numbers—five white balls from 1 to 70 and the yellow “mega ball” from 1 to 25. The odds of doing so are 1 in 302.6 million.

In fiscal year 2018, the Hoosier Lottery sold $45.85 million in Mega Millions tickets. That was up from $32.7 million in fiscal year 2017.

Mega Millions is played in 44 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Lottery officials altered the rules and odds for the Mega Millions game in October 2017 to make jackpots more difficult to win, leading to bigger jackpots and spurring more interest in the game. Previous jackpot odds were 1 in 258.9 million.

The last Mega Millions jackpot was claimed July 24, when a group of 11 co-workers in California shared a $543 million prize.

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