Mega Millions lottery tops $500M, stirring daydreams

WASHINGTON, July 24 (Reuters) - The jackpot for Tuesday night's U.S. Mega Millions lottery has reached $512 million, the fifth-largest prize in the game's history, and sparked a wave of social media daydreaming about how users would spend the money if they won.

The next drawing for the prize, which follows 22 that occurred without a jackpot-winning number being called, is scheduled for 11 p.m. ET (0300 GMT Wednesday), according to the lottery's website.

Some Twitter users laid out plans to buy islands or boats with possible winnings, while the more altruistic sketched dreams of charity.

Even Minnesota's Orono Police Department got in on the action, posting, "Kinda hard to work today... Thinking about how I'm going to spend my #MegaMillions winnings."

In March, a New Jersey man won $533 million, the fourth-largest pot in the game's history and the second-largest win on a single ticket.

Since then, in May, a winning ticket was sold in Ohio to garner $142 million. That jackpot was claimed by a trust.

The Powerball lottery holds the record with a $1.586 billion payout in 2016.

More on lottery winners who hit the jackpot:

The largest Mega Millions lottery grand prize, won in 2012, amounted to $656 million. Three winning tickets were sold in Illinois, Kansas and Maryland. (Reporting by Makini Brice; Editing by Scott Malone and Marguerita Choy)