Mega Millions jackpot soars to $500M

Vita Avignone of Middle Island shows her picks

Vita Avignone of Middle Island shows her picks at Sonny's Cards and Things store in Rocky Point on Monday. Sonny's had a $162 million winner in December 2009. (March 26, 2012) (Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan)

Half-a-billion dollars.

After no one won the $363 million Mega Millions lottery drawing Tuesday night, the mega-jackpot jumped to a record $500 million Wednesday, according to lottery officials.

The lump-sum payment comes to $359 million.

The New York Lottery reported no winners Tuesday for the numbers 9, 19, 34, 44, 51 and a Mega Ball of 24.

Two second-place tickets worth $250,000 were sold on Long Island, one in Lindenhurst, the other in Bellmore. Those second-place tickets matched all five numbers but not the Mega Ball.

After no one won the $363 million jackpot Tuesday, the number leaped to a half-billion dollars -- the largest multistate jackpot in U.S. history. The drawing takes place Friday night.

A $390 million Mega Millions game, won on March 6, 2007, had been the largest jackpot. Two winning tickets -- $195 million each -- were purchased by a New Jersey couple and Georgia man.

Earlier this year, a software company manager from California's Silicon Valley won Long Island's biggest-ever lottery jackpot.

Daniel Bruckner, 35, of San Jose, bought a $208 million Mega Millions ticket at a Middle Island supermarket while on a Christmas week visit with his in-laws in Ridge.

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