Increased ticket sales in California and throughout the nation have helped the Mega Millions jackpot rise to a near U.S. lottery record of $636 million. The jackpot increased by $50 million overnight, according to lottery officials.

The estimated lump sum amount is now $341.2 million.

The jackpot's now the second largest ever in North America, only $20 million behind the record, which came from a Mega Millions drawing in March of 2012 in which three winning tickets split the total, officials said.

The winning tickets came from Kansas, Illinois and Maryland.

Lottery officials said the current jackpot has rolled over 21 times since the last winner on October, 1. They estimate about 70% of the 259 million possible number combinations will be sold for Tuesday night's drawing. The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are 1 in 259 million.

But officials said if nobody wins this drawing, it's possible that the jackpot could reach $1 billion for the first time ever.

You have until 7:45 p.m. to buy a ticket for Tuesday night's drawing, the numbers will be revealed at 8 p.m.

According to officials with the California Lottery, the following two locations are considered 'lucky retailers' because they have each had two big winners:

  • Circle K at 45200 Portola Avenue, Palm Desert, 92260
  • 7-Eleven at 1798 N. Sunrise Way, Palm Springs, 92262.

Lottery's biggest winners, losers

POSTED: 07:23 AM PDT Mar 28, 2012    UPDATED: 08:26 AM PDT Mar 19, 2014 

With news of today's Mega Millions winners, take a look at some previous winners of huge lottery payouts. For some, money does not bring happiness.

Powerball winner Gloria Mackenzie
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Florida Lottery via Facebook

Two winning tickets were sold for the $400 million Mega Millions jackpot Tuesday night, one in Florida and the other in Maryland. The jackpot is the sixth-largest lottery prize in U.S. history.