Lottery Officials Say Ticket Sales Ahead Of Projections For Tuesday’s Drawing

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The Mega Millions jackpot has been boosted to $586 million, a jump from the earlier projection but still trailing a $656 million prize last year that was the largest in U.S. history.

Paula Otto, executive director of the Virginia Lottery and Mega Millions’ lead director says ticket sales are ahead of projections, one of the primary factors pushing the jackpot higher.

She says the jackpot may be increased one more time on Tuesday morning in advance of the evening drawing.

“I think we’ll be very close to the record, and maybe even surpass it,” Otto said, adding that sales are difficult to predict. “Lotto players are procrastinators. They tend to buy on the day of the draw.”

As CBS 2’s John Slattery reported Monday evening, the lottery agents were cranking out the tickets for anxious, hopeful hands.

“Everybody’s going crazy,” said one man, Anthony. “I think it’s a major deal.”

And with the increased demand, the odds grow also. A given person’s chances of winning are one in 259 million — or as some say, you have a better chance of being hit by something from space.

“What’s there to think? I wish I would win, and I wish you would win too,” said lottery player Marvin Drelich. “You know what they say, if you wish for someone else to win, it will happen to you.”

And the perennial question was posed Anthony.

He said he would “have a great life; give out money to homeless people and have a great life afterwards.”

No ticket matched the six numbers needed to win Friday’s $425 million prize. It was raised Saturday to $550.

The winning numbers were: 19-24-26-27-70, Mega Ball: 12.

Nine tickets nabbed $1 million prizes for matching the first five numbers on Friday. Those tickets were sold in Colorado, Connecticut, New Jersey and two apiece in Florida, Michigan and New York.

Otto said it’s expected that between 65 and 75 percent of the 259 million possible number combinations will be in play when the numbers are drawn.

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