Mega Millions jackpot jumps to $540 million

Posted at 11:59 AM, Mar 29, 2012
and last updated 2012-03-29 13:33:34-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – The Mega Millions jackpot has jumped again because of higher than expected sales across the nation.

The Virginia Lottery’s John Hagerty said that Friday’s jackpot is now $540 million.

That makes the prize the largest jackpot in world history, reported CNN. [CONNECT: What would you do with all that money if you won? Comment at the bottom of this story or post on Facebook.]

“We’ve never had a jackpot that is worth half a billion dollars,” Virginia Lottery Director Paula Otto told CBS 6 News’ Tracy Sears Wednesday.

It’s estimated, lottery ticket sales are up by about 60 percent, which means millions more for public education.

Otto says this Mega Millions run will generate $12 million more dollars for public education.

However, some educators are angry because they believe not enough Virginia Lottery money is ending up in local coffers, but is instead being diverted to help pay for state programs. [READ NOW: Is Va. lottery money for education being diverted to state programs?]

Additionally, last Friday’s jackpot, which was only $290 million in comparison, still had folks across Central Virginia — and the country — abuzz.