Historic $1.6B jackpot up for grabs in Tuesday’s Mega Millions drawing

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A sign displays the estimated Mega Millions jackpot at a convenience store in Chicago, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018. Friday’s jackpot has soared to $1 billion, the second-largest prize in U. S. lottery history. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WRIC/WAVY) — Could someone be taking home the Mega Millions jackpot tonight?

After Friday’s big upset, many are hoping for a second chance and feeling lucky that they’ll have the winning ticket Tuesday night.

The jackpot hit $1.6 billion, making it the largest lottery jackpot in history. Mega Millions officials are calling this unchartered territory.

If you do hit all six numbers, you’d be taking home about $904 million. You can choose to get the money up front or in installments.

The odds of winning aren’t that great … you have a better chance of becoming president or getting struck by lightning. There’s only a one in 302 million chance that you’ll take home the jackpot.

“I’m playing, you know, I’m playing just to see my chances,” said Norfolk resident Maurice Fogle.  “Why not? Two dollars to win a billion dollars? You can’t get any better than that.”

If nobody wins tonight, that number will continue to climb.

“It would be awesome to win,” said Portsmouth resident Renee Denstedt.  “Just hoping for better, instead of living paycheck to paycheck.”

Local convenience stores were busy ahead of the drawing. 

“It’s like working at a grocery store for a snow scare or hurricane scare, except we’re doing it on two registers and one machine,” said 7-Eleven field consultant Amanda Moreno.  “It’s been crazy.  We have to start a special line from the aisle to go down and wrap around.”

The 7-Eleven on London Boulevard in Portsmouth actually ordered extra tickets ahead of Tuesday’s drawing.

“I think its the thrill, the what-ifs?  Even if I don’t win the big bucks, I get a little piece of the pie and that’s great or if I win it all, I get to share it,” said Moreno.  “We have a good luck sign down there for everybody that’s playing.  I just hope it goes to someone who truly needs it.”

You have until 10:45 p.m. to buy tickets. The drawing is at 11 p.m.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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