Dec. 12, 2013: A woman buys Mega Millions lottery tickets at a newsstand in Philadelphia. Mega Millions, the lesser known lottery game alongside Powerball, is stepping up to the plate with an estimated $400 million jackpot for Friday's drawing, an amount that comes less than two months after a major game revamp that is supposed to create bigger jackpots and open potential players wallets. The jackpot is the fifth largest ever in U.S. history and the second largest in Mega Millions history, trailing behind the $656 million Mega Millions jackpot in 2012. (AP/Matt Rourke)
DES MOINES, Iowa – The jackpot for the Mega Millions lottery game has been boosted to $425 million because of heavy sales.
Paula Otto, the Virginia Lottery's executive director and Mega Millions' lead director, says sales are 40 percent ahead of projections prompting the game to boost the jackpot for Friday night's draw.
A winner choosing the cash option would win $228 million before taxes.
In New York state, tickets are selling at a pace of $500,000 an hour Friday morning. The state's lottery spokeswoman, Christy Calicchia says sales are normally between $60,000 and $70,000 an hour.
The winning ticket must match the six numbers drawn. About 32 percent of the possible combinations of numbers have been sold.
Mega Millions is played in 43 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.