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Mega Millions: Jackpot skyrockets to $540 million

Jenn Velting of Massapequa poses for a photo

Jenn Velting of Massapequa poses for a photo with New York Mega Millions lottery tickets she purchased at Stationery Plus in Lindenhurst Thursday, July 7, 2016. Friday's jackpot of $540 million is the third highest in the history of the multi-state game and the seventh overall in the history of U.S. lottery games. Credit: Barry Sloan

For the second time since no winning ticket emerged in Tuesday’s drawing, the Mega Millions lottery game took another jackpot jump, this time to $540 million.

Thursday’s “bump” was an increase from $508 million, lottery officials said.

It keeps Friday’s jackpot as the third highest in the history of the multistate game and the seventh overall in the history of U.S. lottery games.

Such bumps are common in Mega and Powerball when their jackpots reach $300 million or more. Larger jackpots translate to increased interest and more ticket sales, which grow the jackpots, according to experts.

The lump-sum cash value for Friday’s jackpot is $380 million, before taxes.

The two largest Mega Millions grand prizes are $656 million in 2012 and $648 million in 2013, according to lottery records.

The odds of picking the correct five numbers and the Mega ball on Friday are 1 in 259 million.

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