The Mega Millions jackpot is juicy, but thanks to new, longer odds, it's entirely possible the payout could reach $1 billion by Christmas. When no winner was selected in Friday's drawing, the jackpot rolled over to $550 million, and it jumped again Monday to $586 million. The total could easily increase again before tonight's (Tuesday) drawing.
... If you're wondering how this stacks up against past prizes, it's the second-largest Mega Millions payout ever after the $656 million kitty collected in April 2012. Here is a look at the top five jackpots in history, according to lottery officials:
1. In March 2012, lottery officials announced three winning tickets for the $656 million Mega Millions jackpot were sold in Kansas, Illinois and Maryland.
2. A Florida woman won the $590.5 million Powerball jackpot in May.
3. The $587.5 million Powerball jackpot was collected in November 2012 by a man in Arizona and a couple in Missouri.
4. A $448.4 million Powerball jackpot was split by two winners in New Jersey and one in Minnesota in August.
5. A single winner in South Carolina won the $399.4 million jackpot in September.