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Mega Millions Jackpot Approaches Record

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(credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Feeling lucky?

The Mega Millions lottery is living up to its name ahead of Tuesday night’s drawing. In fact, the jackpot could break a record. Sales are climbing and that is only helping the already massive prize to grow even larger.

Lottery officials stated that ticket sales are already ahead of projections for the Tuesday drawing, which increases the likelihood of this jackpot breaking the current U.S. record of $656 million. And, if nobody wins on Tuesday, or again on Friday, the nation could see the grand prize soar up to $1 billion for the drawing on Christmas Eve.

The current record for the largest Mega Millions jackpot was set in March of last year.

There is a reason that we are seeing such big dollar values. A change to the game back in October actually made it harder to take home the jackpot. Before, players could choose five numbers from 1 to 56. Now, the game has 75 numbers to pick from. The odds of winning are lower, which allows the total prize to climb higher. There are also fewer gold ball numbers — 1 to 15 instead of 1 to 46.

Mega Millions officials have speculated that the timing of this large jackpot — just before the holidays — has also helped to push ticket sales even higher. Regardless of the odds, registers are ringing with the sound people trying their luck.

What will North Texans do if they take home Tuesday night’s winnings?

Mitzi Harrison Hensley said, “Definitely would pay off our house, set my three children up with amazing college funds so they can get a head start, start a business, and I would give $1 million to everyone I knew! No joke!”

Angel Lee said, “Give several million to each family member, especially my little sister and parents. Donate a large portion to St. Jude and animal rescue.”

And then Darren Keifer said that he would buy the Dallas Cowboys, and fire Jerry Jones.

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