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The jackpot for the twice-weekly drawing starts at $40 million and grows if the grand prize isn't claimed.

Those unclaimed prizes range from $31 million for a ticket purchased in Queens, New York in August of 2006, to $77 million for a winning ticket purchased in Georgia in June 2011.

While the number of white balls available to be drawn decreased from 75 to 70, the number of Mega Ball numbers climbed to 25 from 15.

Manager Jeff Green said almost all of the players getting lotto tickets are from Utah, since gambling is illegal in the Beehive State. Players choose five numbers from 1 to 69 and one Powerball number from 1 to 26. Mega Millions tickets are offered in the same locations excluding Puerto Rico.

Van Denton, spokesman for the N.C. Education Lottery, said big jackpots for the two games tend to see-saw.


There's a misnomer that people in Arkansas don't win the big bucks, but she says that's not true. "They've never both been this high at the same time".

The latest increase to the jackpot would be the fifth largest in Powerball history if someone matched all six numbers Saturday night.

Follow the drawing, MLive will publish an update in the morning that includes whether or not anyone won the jackpot.

Winning a portion of the largest jackpot ever can cause some legal issues and unwanted advances from some who want a cut of the prize. Three tickets - sold in Illinois, Maryland and Kansas - split a $656 million prize. What's wrong with the minimum $15 million under the old Mega Millions system, the one with fewer numbers and a better chance of winning?

Sanders wasn't the only one undeterred by the long odds.


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