(NBC News) Christmas could come early for one lucky winner this year if they scoop more than half-a-billion dollars in prize money up for grabs in Tonight's Mega Millions jackpot.
A last-minute ticket buying frenzy saw the prize swell to $586 million on Monday, and Virginia's lottery director Paula Otto says she expected another spike in sales before Tuesday's 11 p.m. ET draw.
"We've never had a jackpot this high the week before Christmas," Otto says. "You like to see winners and you like to see big jackpots. I leave it in the hands of the bouncing balls."
As much as 70 percent of tickets are typically bought the day of the drawing, she added, saying that over the weekend 20 percent more chances were sold over the weekend for the multi-state game.
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