Mega Millions Jackpot Could Reach Historic Heights, Currently $586 Million

The Mega Millions Jackpot has soared to $586 million in advance of Tuesday night’s drawing, making it the second largest lottery jackpot in history. If someone hits the magic six numbers to win Mega Millions, he or she will surely have a happy holiday season. If no one nabs the Mega Millions jackpot, it will climb to heretofore unseen heights and set a new jackpot record.

Mega Millions lead director Paula Otto indicates that the current $586 million jackpot could likely surpass $600 million by Tuesday night’s drawing.

“Lotto players are procrastinators. They tend to buy on the day of the draw,” Otto said via USA Today.

If the Mega Millions jackpot keeps rolling, it will soon add another zero. That’s right, Mega Millions players, we’re talking billions. Would Mega Millions have to change its name if the jackpot gets that high?

“We had predicted last week that if we are still on the same roll on Christmas Eve, we’ll definitely be over a billion,” Otto told the Associated Press.

The current record for highest lottery jackpot is held by Mega Millions, a high-water mark of $656 million set on March 20, 2012. Tuesday night’s jackpot is unlikely to overtake that mark before the drawing, but it’s certainly going to beat it in the event of a roll over. The confirmed $586 million jackpot would pay out a $316.5 million dollar lump sum, and the tax implications for hitting the current Mega Millions jackpot are hefty, according to USA Mega. Calculate your potential take home winnings here, according to state of residence.

Mega Millions tickets are still only $1 each. Players select five out of 75 numbers, then select one out of 15 for the Mega Ball number. Mega Millions players also can pay an extra $1 for the Megaplier, which multiplies winnings, excluding the jackpot, up to five times the original amount; Tuesday’s Megaplier is 2. If no one wins the jackpot in Tuesday night’s draw, Friday’s draw will begin at $800 million, a new Mega Millions jackpot record, and an all-time record for any other lottery drawing.

According to the National Safety Council, the odds of dying from a lightning strike (1 in 126,158) are more than 2,000 times as likely than hitting the Mega Millions jackpot (1 in 259 million). Does that stop you from playing Mega Millions?