Mega Millions Jackpot Could Reach New Record High

Lead director of the Mega Millions lottery discusses the excitement around the upcoming drawing.
3:00 | 12/16/13

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Transcript for Mega Millions Jackpot Could Reach New Record High
This is a special -- -- from the EC. I'm Dan company -- this ABC news digital special report. It is a good time to be feeling lucky. The Mega Millions jackpot is estimated now at 586. Million dollars -- currently the fourth highest ever. Though that could be raking breaking records ABC's -- Gonzales has spent. Talking to those who think that lady luck could be on their side Marcy -- -- a lot of people are filling out there wishlists right now. Absolutely Danny they just keep feeling -- -- and -- here because the jackpot is getting bigger. It grew by 38 million dollars today alone. Excitement building as the Mega Millions jackpot now what -- 800. Six million dollars just keeps growing. Unimaginable that's the I can't and can even and the minute it it's amazing and lottery officials say if the sales keep up like this. The prize could be even bigger by tomorrow night strongly. Right now the jackpot is the fourth largest in history and there is a chance this game could eventually break records. If we don't have a winner at this Tuesday. We don't have a -- -- this Friday. We're gonna have to buy some new billboards because our billboard spent the past a billion dollars. The potential for a billion dollar jackpot building after 21 consecutive -- -- with no winner. Attributed to beat a change in the game. Five of the six balls used range from one to 56. They now go from one to 75. Making your odds of winning just one in 259. Million. I know that's the winner but just -- -- unlikely that those lucky feelings are right. And people are already dreaming up ways. Celebrate and spend their millions. Of every -- -- -- Christmas restaurants. So well -- I can't even imagine the -- will be at 11 o'clock eastern. Tomorrow night but I'm. A -- I want to ask you about this and I don't -- to be killed joy going into the story but the fact of the matter is we are in the midst of the holidays. Shopping is on everyone's mind -- that you talk to where they kind of like you know what someone might now beginning to get this year because instead I wanna put twenty bucks down on this ticket. -- now everyone is thinking about what they're going to give when they win everyone on the court says positive that they have the winning ticket himself a part of the list that they're coming up with along with -- of vacations they wanna take they're also thinking about those big elaborate gifts. That they'll get for their loved ones. And Marcy I see empty hands there where is your tickets. It's stashed away -- -- Even out an open view of everyone and you know you were always my favorite right Marcy. Customers again thank you so much for. Mega Millions favor. Now for more on the possible record jackpot I want to bring in Mega Millions lead director and Virginia lottery executive director Paula -- Paula thank you for joining us today we imagine you guys are -- On pins and needles to say the least. -- Truly Mega Millions mania has gripped the country. It's a lot of fun -- we have never the end over half a billion the week before Christmas. So a lot of people are out there shopping -- a lot of them are buying Mega Millions to -- I mean obviously you guys are able to tease out all kinds of metrics and all kinds of numbers in your sales. What are you honestly looking at right out the possibility that he could reach a billion dollars. Well we it's not gonna happen for Tuesday's trying it could possibly happen for Friday. But we know for certain that if we go to more cross without jackpot winner. We will be looking at a billion dollars or -- war for Christmas Eve. -- there are a lot of unknowns that we have some more snow forecast for parts of the country we do have possibly that dilemma that you were talking about people. Who still have some folks on their shopping list. And we also -- interest rates so. It's hard to know until it trying exactly where the jackpot -- on Friday. We got 70%. Of our sales so we know that lottery players like to play on that day trying. It'll be very interesting on Tuesday morning when we -- checking in again with each other. To see how sales have gone after -- and during rush hour on Tuesday morning. My guess is we may have another -- in the jackpot tomorrow morning. -- and my question is this is you brought up the point about whether and the potential of how would -- its schedules up against the holidays. But I'm interested -- -- the jackpot -- now this fourth largest level when he gets that big essentially though. Snow -- aside or any kind of day of the week I mean there's just excitement that is just gonna break any kind of previous habits right. Well you're absolutely right and in looking at the sales -- this jackpot has ground. Clearly 400 million dollars was the tipping point. That is planned sales just got off the charts so now we're over 500 -- -- sales have been better than we anticipated. If they continue at that case. Who knows where -- will now. Now in Marty's report we discuss the fact that these jackpots have gotten exponentially larger all because the system that the game itself has changed by adding an additional numbers. Now your odds of winning one -- 259 million. When you start to see that kind of response that your getting by be able to generate that kind of jackpot is -- discussion and then among the lottery officials met. Hey maybe we -- a few more numbers and see if we can really make sure we get a guarantee billion dollar payout. Well not act. You wouldn't -- start to think that it's time to make changes the first thing we do as we go to the players. And we did extensive research across the country talking thousands. A lottery players about what they like about game about what they would like to see changed. So we don't make this -- is lightly and this is the very first role. Under the new Mega Millions game it certainly wonderful to see that it has generated. Tremendous jackpot. -- but we don't anticipate any -- changes any more changes for at least. Couple more years ago and obviously a lot of excitement certainly being drawn into -- as well along the way. I know the seems like him a bit of an odd question but statistically speaking though if you the odds are one in 259 million possible combinations. What are you able to glean out based on the response of the number of tickets were purchased in the spread across the entire country. What is the likelihood that every combination at some point -- been reached. Well you know -- and that has never happen. We know that for Friday's crying just under 50%. Of the 259 million combinations. Or -- We think for the drawing on Tuesday that might be in the 65%. 8% range. So we -- nurse when only 10%. Of the combinations have been covered. And -- -- role we -- 70%. So it really comes down to the way that involves bounce on Tuesday night now we've. Had record lotteries two years in a row. What's the reason behind that be extended to the extended -- system. Well but you powerball changed its -- and -- to a two dollar price point so it had more money going into the jackpots. And that has worked very well for the powerball game. We decided based on our research to keep our price point at a dollar we changed the game changed matrix. And on exchanged. So clearly both of those changes. Have been very good for the games. The top five record jackpots have all happened in the last two years. So we know that lottery players tipping point and when they -- in the game. Has changed and at this point I think it's probably at about 400 million dollars. So lottery states across the country are going to do whatever we can. To get to those magical 400 million plus jackpot. Apollo lasted for minutes ago wanted to ask what is more pot that -- quick pick for people coming in there with a predetermined numbers that they like. Well we don't track. Which way is more popular I can tell you they're generally we'll get a jackpot this size we have a lot of people who are regular players. They do a lot more of the quick picks or -- computer X. But he had the same chance of winning if you choose your six numbers or if you let the computer and now I can't play no one who works -- lottery complaint if I could I would be doing one. I would cover -- ways but I do want to remind folks that. It is just game it's not an investment that I answer theory theory long. And we encourage everyone to play responsibly it only takes one ticket one dollar to -- It is a solid message that I have to -- -- a -- -- -- -- because the fact that you are not allowed to play I'm impressed that you are able to exude this kind of enthusiasm. For someone else who could potentially be. A multimillionaire. Out there and you -- to -- response -- but not able to actually. Get it out yourself. Well I get a lot of pleasure out of meeting -- -- Harris and and and helping them. -- hopefully some good decisions have the money last a long long time. It's a really fun business to be and and at the end of the day we are raising billions of dollars are important causes across the country. In that the country's 44 lotteries the. 586. Million and counting can certainly do a lot of good for a lot of people. Meg -- -- -- director Virginia lottery executive director Paula Otto Pollack thank you so much we appreciate it thanks for. And of course if you think that you could be the lucky winner tune in tomorrow for the record drawing. For now I'm down Cutler -- New York. With -- ABC news digital special report.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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