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Mega Millions jackpot reaches world-record $1.6 billion and counting





After 13 weeks of drawings with no jackpot winner, the Mega Millions’s grand prize has ballooned to $1.6 billion with a cash option of $904.9 million, making it the largest lottery jackpot in world history, officials said.

“Mega Millions has already entered historic territory, but it’s truly astounding to think that now the jackpot has reached an all-time world record,” said Gordon Medenica, lead director of the Mega Millions Group. “It’s hard to overstate how exciting this is – but now it’s really getting fun.”

The previous US lottery jackpot record was a $1.586 billion Powerball prize, which was split among three winning tickets on Jan. 13, 2016. The previous Mega Millions jackpot record was $656 million, which was split among three winning tickets on March 30, 2012, officials said.

The last time the Mega Millions jackpot was hit was on July 24, when a group of 11 co-workers in California split the $543 million prize, officials said.

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The sales for Mega Millions tickets sold in Massachusetts for Friday’s drawing, when the jackpot was $1 billion, totaled more than $16 million. More than $11 million of those sales came from tickets sold on Friday alone, according to Christian Teja, spokesman for the Massachusetts State Lottery.

Ticket sales for Tuesday’s drawing had surpassed $4.5 million by 11:30 a.m. Monday. The most sales always come on the day of the drawing, Teja said.

The Massachusetts ticket sales record for a single drawing, which is for the then-record Powerball jackpot of January 2016, is about $32.971 million, Teja said.

The Mega Millions jackpot could get even higher before Tuesday’s drawing, but any changes in the grand prize will not be announced until Tuesday, said US Lottery spokeswoman Carole Gentry,.

The Powerball jackpot for Wednesday’s drawing is an estimated $620 million, making it the sixth-largest US lottery jackpot ever. The cash option is about $354.3 million, officials said.

The jackpot for the in-state Megabucks Doubler is an estimated $3.6 million, officials said.

Mega Millions and Powerball tickets are $2 each, and Megabucks Doubler tickets are $1 each. Tuesday’s Mega Millions drawing will be at 11 p.m. Wednesday’s Powerball drawing will be at 10:59 p.m. Wednesday’s Megabucks Doubler drawing will be at 11:20 p.m., officials said.

The results of the drawings will be available on masslottery.com, as well as on the Lottery’s Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages, officials said.

Andres Picon can be reached at andres.picon@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @andpicon.




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