Mega Millions jackpot swells to $540 million

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LINCOLN, Neb. — Lottery fever is starting to sizzle again. The rush for Mega Millions tickets has pushed the estimated jackpot for Friday’s drawing up to $540 million or $380 million with the cash option selected.

The Mega Millions jackpot starts at $15 million and continues to grow by at least $5 million each drawing until it is won. There have been 34 consecutive Mega Millions drawings since March 8 without a jackpot winner. If won, this will be the 3rd largest jackpot in Mega Millions history.

Mega Millions jackpot winners have two options for collecting their payment: 30 annuity payments or one cash payment at present value.

The annuity option provides annual payments that increase each year. The present cash value is less than the advertised jackpot, which is based on the 29-year annuity option.

Winning Mega Millions numbers are announced every Tuesday and Friday at 10:00 p.m.