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Mega Millions lottery jackpot climbs to record $540 million

March 29, 2012 |  9:42 am

Lottery lines
The Mega Millions lottery hit $540 million Thursday morning, making it the largest jackpot in world history, state lottery officials said.

Every dollar is adding to the world record, said state lottery spokesman Elias Dominguez, adding that officials are not even sure how large the jackpot will be by Friday, when the drawing will be held.

“It’s spiraling out of control,” Dominguez said. “This is uncharted territory.”

Dominguez said lottery officials have been having meetings every day since Tuesday night to analyze the skyrocketing sales. He said 283 million tickets have been sold in California alone since the jackpot run-up began Jan. 25.

With so many players playing so many different number combinations, Dominguez said, “There’s a good likelihood someone will hit it tomorrow.”

“Somebody’s life is going to change,” he said. “It’s really exciting.”  


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--Matt Stevens


Photo: Patricia Satele, holding her lucky charm duck Patito, and her friends feel lucky Tuesday as they stand in line outside Bluebird Liquor store to buy their Mega Millions lottery ticket in Hawthorne. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times.