Mega Millions jackpot climbs to $454 million, drawing Tuesday

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Mega Millions drawing tonight


July 5 (Reuters) - The jackpot for Tuesday night's Mega Millions lottery drawing has swollen to $454 million, making it one of the 10 largest prizes in U.S. lottery history, lottery officials said.

A drawing for the multistate Mega Millions prize will be held at 11 p.m. EDT (0300 GMT) and aired and streamed on multiple outlets.

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The Mega Millions game is played in 44 states, Washington, D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The odds of winning this jackpot are one in nearly 259 million.

"With strong sales around the country, the estimated jackpot for Tuesday night's Mega Millions drawing has been raised," lottery officials said in a statement.

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Mega Millions jackpot drawing July 5 -- (updated with July 8 photos)
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Mega Millions jackpot drawing July 5 -- (updated with July 8 photos)
People line up outside Bluebird Liquors in Hawthorne, Calif., to buy lottery tickets Friday afternoon, July 8, 2016. The Mega Millions jackpot for Friday's drawing has soared to over $500 million. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
An electronic sign at Bluebird Liquors in Hawthorne, Calif., displays lottery jackpots Friday, July 8, 2016. The Mega Millions jackpot for Friday's drawing has soared to over $500 million. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
A player fills out lottery slips from texted instructions at Bluebird Liquors in Hawthorne, Calif., Friday afternoon, July 8, 2016. The jackpot for Friday's drawing has soared to over $500 million. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Jesus Vaquez issues lottery tickets at Bluebird Liquors in Hawthorne, Calif., as the Mega Millions lottery had reached $540 million by late Friday afternoon, July 8, 2016. The next Mega Millions drawing is this evening, after Wednesday night's drawing did not yield a winner. Bluebird is regarded as a very lucky place to play any form of lottery game. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Vee John takes her lottery tickets at Bluebird Liquors in Hawthorne, Calif., after the Mega Millions lottery had reached $540 million by late Friday afternoon, July 8, 2016. The next Mega Millions drawing is this evening, after Wednesday night's drawing did not yield a winner. Bluebird is regarded as a very lucky place to play any form of lottery game. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Chase Hardy buys lottery tickets at a 7-Eleven store, Friday, July 8, 2016, in Newark, N.J. The Mega Millions lottery jackpot for Friday's drawing has soared to over $500 million. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
A ticket is seen ahead of the Mega Millions lottery draw which reached a jackpot of $415 Million in Manhattan, New York, U.S., July 1, 2016. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
Diana Moore buys a Mega Millions lottery ticket Friday, July 1, 2016, in San Diego. Friday night's Mega Millions drawing will give lottery players a shot at the 10th largest jackpot in U.S. history. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
A ticket is seen ahead of the Mega Millions lottery draw which reached a jackpot of $415 Million in Manhattan, New York, U.S., July 1, 2016. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
An electronic billboard displays the current Mega Millions jackpot Tuesday, July 5, 2016, in Springfield, Ill. With slightly better odds than Powerball, it's rare that nearly four months passes without someone winning a Mega Millions jackpot, which has grown from $15 million prize to $454 million since the last winning drawing in March. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
A Mega Millions lottery ticket is printed out of a lottery machine at a convenience store in Chicago, Friday, July 1, 2016. Friday night's Mega Millions drawing will give lottery players a shot at the 10th largest jackpot in U.S. history. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Sara Thompson picks numbers for her Mega Millions lottery ticket at a convenience store in Chicago, Friday, July 1, 2016. Friday night's Mega Millions drawing will give lottery players a shot at the 10th largest jackpot in U.S. history. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
A customer shows his lotto tickets purchased at a grocery store, Friday, July 1, 2016, in Miami. Friday night's Mega Millions drawing will give lottery players a shot at the 10th largest jackpot in U.S. history. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
A customer fills out a Mega Millions ticket at a local grocery store, Friday, July 1, 2016, in Hialeah, Fla. Friday night's Mega Millions drawing will give lottery players a shot at the 10th largest jackpot in U.S. history. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
North Carolina Mega Millions lottery tickets rest on a counter at a Pilot travel center along Interstate 40 near Burlington, N.C., Friday, July 1, 2016. Tonight's Mega Millions drawing will give lottery players a shot at the 10th largest jackpot in U.S. history. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
North Carolina Mega Millions lottery tickets rest on a counter at a Pilot travel center along Interstate 40 near Burlington, N.C., Friday, July 1, 2016. Tonight's Mega Millions drawing will give lottery players a shot at the 10th largest jackpot in U.S. history. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
A Mega Millions ticket comes out of a machine, Friday, July 1, 2016, in Miami. Friday night's Mega Millions drawing will give lottery players a shot at the 10th largest jackpot in U.S. history. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
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The Mega Millions jackpot has jumped twice after Friday night's drawing failed to produce a winning ticket worth $415 million. The jackpot has been growing since early March, when a Washington state man snagged $157 million with his winning ticket.

Each $1 ticket sold makes up the hefty prize, which is worth $319 million if a winner chooses an immediate cash payout instead of an initial payment and then 29 annual payments.

Ticket sales typically increase as the prize grows, lottery officials said.

The current prize is the game's biggest since December 2013, when holders of two tickets sold in California and Georgia shared a $648 million jackpot. The largest Mega Millions jackpot, worth $656 million, was sold the prior year.

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In January, three winning Powerball tickets were sold in Florida, Tennessee and California to claim a share of nearly $1.6 billion, the largest prize to have been won on a single lottery game anywhere in the world.

On social media on Tuesday, ticket holders fantasized about their plans if they won the prize, including plans to buy expensive clothing and even sports teams.

"If I win tonight's Mega Millions, I'm going to buy my own basketball league," comedian Spencer Hicks tweeted.

(Reporting by Laila Kearney in New York; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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