Mega Millions Jackpot Now Worth $355M

By Brandon Benavides
|  Tuesday, Jan 4, 2011  |  Updated 6:25 PM EDT
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<a title=Washington-area sales of Mega Millions tickets increase as the jackpot grows to $355 million." />

Tom Sherwood

Washington-area sales of Mega Millions tickets increase as the jackpot grows to $355 million.

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Are you feeling lucky today?  You may want to buy a Mega Millions lottery ticket.

No one won the New Year's Eve drawing, so tonight’s jackpot is worth an estimated $355 million.  That's up from the estimated total this morning of $330 million.
 
The total is not expected to be raised again (but it might be), according to NBCWashington's Tom Sherwood. The last chance to buy tickets is 15 minutes before the drawing, which is 11 p.m.
 
You can buy Mega Millions Lottery tickets in the District, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia.
This is the sixth largest jackpot in Mega Millions history.
 
And if you win, well, you can get a one-time cash payout of $208 million, before taxes.
 
And did you you know that where you buy your ticket can determine how much money you get?  It's true.  The federal government will take 25 percent from you no matter where you buy the ticket.  But if you buy in D.C. and win, you'll have to give back 8.5 percent in taxes.  Buy it in Maryland, and the state takes out 7.75 percent if you're a Maryland resident and 6 percent if you're a non-resident.  In West Virginia, the state takes back 6 percent.  But in Virginia, the state takes back 4 percent.
 
Of course, if you want to drive to Delaware or Pennsylvania to buy your ticket, they won't take out state taxes if you win.
 
So how did we get to this point?  Here's the recent history of the Mega Millions jackpot:
  • 11/12/2010 $12,000,000
  • 11/16/2010 $16,000,000
  • 11/19/2010 $25,000,000
  • 11/23/2010 $34,000,000
  • 11/26/2010 $42,000,000
  • 11/30/2010 $52,000,000
  • 12/03/2010 $62,000,000
  • 12/07/2010 $74,000,000
  • 12/10/2010 $88,000,000
  • 12/14/2010 $104,000,000
  • 12/17/2010 $123,000,000
  • 12/21/2010 $145,000,000
  • 12/24/2010 $168,000,000
  • 12/28/2010 $200,000,000
  • 12/31/2010 $242,000,000 (updated from $237 million)
  • 01/04/2010 $330,000,000 (updated from $290 million)
The drawing is tonight at 11 p.m.  We will have the results on News4 at 11.

What would you do if you won?  Join the discussion on our Facebook page.

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