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$363-million Mega Millions jackpot draws players

With hours to go before the drawing, retailers are seeing brisk sales of tickets for the Mega Millions jackpot, which has climbed to at least $363 million.

The drawing occurs at 8 p.m. Ticket-holders will be vying for the third-largest Mega Millions jackpot of all time, according to KTLA-TV. Tickets will be sold until 7:45 p.m.

If the winning number is drawn Tuesday night, the lucky ticket-holder will be able to choose a cash option payout of $259.8 million, California lottery officials said.

The total is rapidly approaching the state record, a $390-million payout won in March 2007.

The lottery places the odds of winning Mega Millions at about 1 in 176 million. The retailer who sells the winning ticket will receive a maximum $1-million bonus.


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--Matt Stevens


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