Mega Millions jackpot in United States climbs to $400 million

Tue Mar 18, 2014 3:42pm EDT

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(Reuters) - Dreamers across the United States opened their wallets to buy tickets for Tuesday night's Mega Millions drawing with a jackpot of about $400 million, the third largest in its history.

The jackpot swelled after no one matched all six numbers in Friday night's drawing. If no winner emerges Tuesday night, the jackpot will roll over for the next drawing on March 21.

The record U.S. jackpot of $656 million was in a March 2012 Mega Millions drawing. In December 2013, lucky ticket holders struck the second largest Mega Millions jackpot of $648 million.

Tuesday night's jackpot of an estimated $400 million carries a cash option of $224 million, the Mega Millions website said.

Mega Millions is played in 43 states plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Jackpots start at $15 million, according to the website.

(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg; Editing by Grant McCool)

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