03/29/2012 :  MEGA MILLIONS LOTTERY HITS $500 MILLION (Update)
 
High ticket sales boost the main prize to record levels
 
The multi-state Mega Million lottery in the United States moved into record and uncharted territory Thursday as frenzied ticket buying boosted the main prize to an unprecedented $500 million and counting, with the possibility of a further rise before the draw on Friday March 30.
 
This is the largest Mega Millions prize since the game's inception in 2002, and the largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history. The cash option is $359 million, the record largest cash jackpot in Mega Millions history.
 
Mega Millions tickets cost $1 each. Players select five out of 56 numbers, then select one out of 46 for the Mega Ball number. Players can also pay an extra $1 for a Megaplier that multiplies winnings, excluding the jackpot, up to four times the original amount. Drawings are held on Tuesdays and Fridays. The game is played in 42 states, plus Washington, D.C. and the Virgin Islands.