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Mega Millions jackpot now at $540M, breaking world record

The estimated jackpot for Friday's Mega Millions drawing has risen to $540 million, extending what Mega Millions officials say already was going to be a world record for lottery jackpots, the officials said Thursday.

The jackpot initially was estimated at $476 million, and then $500 million, but stronger-than-anticipated sales nationwide have helped push up the figure, lottery officials said.

The previous world record for a single jackpot, according to Mega Millions, was that game's $390 million prize in a March 6, 2007, drawing. That jackpot was split by winners in Georgia and New Jersey.

Friday's jackpot rolled over from Tuesday's drawing for a $363 million jackpot. The prize has been building since January 24, when a Georgia woman won a $72 million Mega Millions drawing.

Friday's $540 million prize would be payable as an annuity over 26 years. If a winner prefers, he or she could choose a one-time, lump-sum payment, which in this case would be $389 million. Both figures are before taxes.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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