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$363-million Mega Millions jackpot draws players

March 27, 2012 |  5:54 pm

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

Twitter.com/mattstevenslat

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