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Mega Millions Jackpot Jumps to $540 Million

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The countdown is on for a shot to win the biggest jackpot in lottery history!

The jackpot for Friday's Mega Millions drawing has increased from $500 million to $540 million based on strong sales. There's been no jackpot winner for weeks pushing the prize to this record breaking figure.

The winning numbers for Tuesday's drawing were: 9, 19, 34, 44, 51 and the Mega ball 24. Eleven players in New York and two in New Jersey matched five numbers, but not the Mega Ball, earning them $250,000 each.

1010 WINS' John Montone reports from Fort Lee, N.J.


With just one day to go for the drawing, millions are scrambling to buy tickets for their chance to win big. The huge jackpot is attracting new players like Robert Jackson.

"First time ever, I'm a virgin," he told CBS 2's Cindy Hsu, adding that he would "give away half" before saying he would "buy a big house in the Hamptons.

Everybody has a strategy they hope will make them lucky. While some let the machine choose their numbers, others have a more sentimental system.

Garriat Johnson said he picks the numbers of his mother's, aunt's and sons' birthdays. When it comes to how many tickets to buy, Theresa Emerson goes with her lucky number eight.

If you're part of a lottery pool with friends or co-workers, there are some things you can do to make winning a lot sweeter.

Lottery officials say to make sure you copy both the front and back of the tickets which contain serial numbers.  Everyone in the pool should get a copy of those tickets as well.

Officials also said to put the rules in writing, including the deadline for collecting money and who holds the tickets.

While luck is always good, the designated leader should be well-organized and someone who can collect the money, buy the tickets and get all the players names and phone numbers distributed to everyone in the pool.

And if the person in charge plans on buying any lottery tickets outside the pool, everyone playing should know that before the drawing.

The last time Mega Millions was even close to this size was back in 2007. The jackpot then stood at $390 million and it was shared by two winners in Georgia and New Jersey.

What will you do with the money if you win? Let us know below.

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