$425 million jackpot awaits one lucky ticket buyer, NC lottery officials say

At 1 in 302.5 million, the odds of winning are astronomical.

Yet a $425 million jackpot awaits a lucky NC Mega Millions scratch-off ticket buyer heading into the new year.

The next drawing is Tuesday. The jackpot offers a $425 million annuity, or $254.6 million in cash, according to the NC Education Lottery website.

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Mega Millions, however, also dolls out prizes up to $5 million, depending on the type of ticket a player buys, according to a lottery news release. Buyers can win any of nine ways, lottery officials said in the release.

Regular Mega Millions tickets cost $2.

“For another $1, players can add the Megaplier feature, which will multiply a prize two to five times depending on the number drawn,” according to the release.

Lottery officials also noted that two N.C. players have won jackpots since the state joined the Mega Millions game in 2010: James Jones of Greenville won $57 million in 2011 and Mike Manheim of Greensboro won $12 million in 2010.

“A new year means new dreams for people in North Carolina,” lottery Executive Director Mark Michalko wrote in the release.

In South Carolina, meanwhile, no one has come forward to claim the winning $1.5 billion Mega Millions jackpot ticket sold at a gas station outside Simpsonville.

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Joe Marusak has been a reporter for The Charlotte Observer since 1989 covering the people, municipalities and major news events of the region, and was a news bureau editor for the paper. He currently reports on breaking news.