FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- As the Mega Millions jackpot creeps toward $600 million, residents all over Fairfield County are lining up at gas stations and delis to get their tickets and hopefully hit a huge payday Tuesday night.
The jackpot total stands at $586 million as of Tuesday morning, but the brisk pace of ticket sales was expected to push it over the $600 million mark by the time the drawing is held at 10:59 p.m.
"What is it, $586 million now? Of course I'm playing," said Gary Frank as he bought his tickets at the 7-Eleven store in White Plains, N.Y. "I play scratch offs and lottery all the time. I already have a few Mega tickets."
Nobody has hit the jackpot since the game format was changed in October.
In the game, five numbers are drawn from a pool of 75 numbers up from the previous total of 56, and the Megaball numbers have been reduced from 46 to 15. The result is longer odds.
The change has reduced the chances of winning to 259 million to 1, down from 175 million to 1 under the old system.
Since nobody has hit the jackpot since the change, the pot has grown to the second largest jackpot in the game's history, trailing only the $656 million total that was collected in April 2012.
The drawing will be held just before 11 p.m. and will be televised locally on WABC-TV Channel 7, Fox CT Channel 61 and WCCT-TV Channel 20.