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Mega Millions Jackpot Jumps to $540 Million and Could Go Higher

Tim Boyle/Bloomberg NewsUPDATE: The Mega Millions jackpot has soared to $640 million, according to lottery officials.  The cash value now stands at $462 million.

(NEW YORK) -- Will there be a lucky winner in Friday night's drawing of the biggest lottery award in Mega Millions history?

The chances are slim -- the odds of winning the jackpot are estimated at about one in 176 million, according to lottery officials.  But at $540 million, many are taking a gamble, hoping to score the big prize and change their lives.

Long lines are expected Friday in 42 states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands as people head out to purchase Mega Millions tickets ahead of the 11 p.m. ET drawing.  And as those ticket sales soar, so could the jackpot.

To win, one must get all six numbers right -- five drawn from a set of balls numbered one through 56, and one drawn from a set numbered one through 46.

As it stands, the cash option, should the winner not choose to spread the jackpot over 26 annual payments, would be $389.8 million.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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