Mega Millions jackpot hits $344 million

A single winner could take home the largest prize on record.

By InvestorPlace Dec 10, 2013 2:40PM

Customers wait in line to buy Mega Millions tickets at Bluebird liquor store on March 29, 2012 in Hawthorne, Calif. (© Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)By William White

The Mega Millions jackpot for tonight's drawing has climbed to a whopping $344 million.

The jackpot has ballooned thanks to the prize going unclaimed for two weeks. This is the largest Mega Millions prize so far in 2013 and could result in a record payout, NBC News notes.

The current record was established in March 2012 after three people each claimed a portion of the $656 million jackpot. After taxes, each winner took home $157.8 million. A single winner for the current jackpot would get a $184 million one-time payout.

Overall, this is the fourth-largest jackpot Mega Millions has ever seen.

Earlier this year, Mega Millions followed in Powerball's footsteps and changed its rules to create larger prizes. The changes included an extra ticket option that allows winners of the secondary prize anywhere from $1 million to $5 million, versus the normal $250,000.

The next drawing for the Mega Millions jackpot will take place at 11 p.m. ET.

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Dec 10, 2013 3:38PM
I don't need the jackpot, just a little something extra for the holidays. Jackpot = Too fast of a car = Too short of a life (at least for my stupid butt)
they should give a jackpot for not getting any numbers then I would win all the time
Dec 10, 2013 3:30PM
If only..goodluck to anyone who wins it
Dec 10, 2013 3:43PM
I think I'll go out and get a ticket tonight and win this thing...... I will make several large donations if I win tonight!
Dec 10, 2013 3:43PM
I am feeling lucky it could be me the odds could be in my favor...on second thought I will wait for the numbers to come out before pissing on my bosses desk. 
Dec 10, 2013 3:58PM
I can finally stop living week to week!
Dec 10, 2013 4:09PM
I don't play the lottery and I both love and hate it.  On the one hand, it's great, because it's essentially a voluntary tax.  But I have a real problem with people playing the lottery who are on welfare.  If you need food stamps or you get housing assistance, you shouldn't be allowed to play the lottery.
Dec 10, 2013 3:57PM
My ex-wife would just take it all....
Dec 10, 2013 4:13PM
With my luck I would buy 10 tickets and hit the Jackpot on the 10th one. Just think about it... $9.00 wasted!
Dec 10, 2013 3:53PM
Since the latest change the odds are about 250,0000,000 to one against winning the big pot. Mega millions can easily grow to exceed $ 1 Billion now. There really should be better paramutual distribution of the prizes.
Dec 10, 2013 4:04PM
Dec 10, 2013 3:54PM
Dec 10, 2013 3:56PM
It's a shame that today is the last day I'll be sure that someone likes me for me...
Dec 10, 2013 4:10PM
The reason Mega Millions has higher jackpots now is because they added more numbers and made it harder to win.  Its now about 70 or 80 millions times harder to win then it was a month ago.  You have a 1 in 258 million chance of winning.  Before the change it was about 1 in 175 million.  Good Luck!
Dec 10, 2013 4:07PM
If we win, we're paying off student loan debts.
Dec 10, 2013 4:26PM
They report that mega-ball " changed the rules to create larger prizes" which is a total lie!!!
They changed the rules to make more money by making it 50% HARDER to win!!  Totally
shameless, and then they "spin" it to appear like they're doing everyone a favor? Disgusting!
Dec 10, 2013 4:14PM
What is it they say..."a dollar and a dream".  I have both and so far what did that get me?  I'm out of a dollar and my dream is crushed yet again.
Dec 10, 2013 3:55PM

This is where most of the welfare money goes....

Dec 10, 2013 3:54PM
"I got so many things I want to buy!!!"
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