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U.S. Mega Millions lottery up to $400M, 2nd-biggest ever

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[December 11, 2013]  (Reuters)  The U.S. Mega Millions jackpot grew to an estimated $400 million for the next draw on Friday after no one won the top prize of $344 million on Tuesday evening, lottery organizers said.

The next draw is slated for Friday, December 13  considered an unlucky date by some  at 11 p.m. E.T. (0400 GMT Saturday).

If the winner chose to take a cash prize instead of an annuity, it would amount to $216 million, according to the Mega Millions website www.megamillions.com.

Tuesday's top prize had a cash payout option of $184 million, according to the lottery, which is played in a majority of U.S. states. The winning numbers from that drawing were: 5, 12, 22, 41, 65 and 13, Mega Millions said.

No one has won the jackpot in more than two months, pushing the purse steadily higher, although it remains well below the record-setting $656 million won on March 30, 2012.

The next largest prizes in the 17-year history of Mega Millions were worth $390 million and $380 million.

(Reporting by Elizabeth Dilts and Eric M. Johnson; editing by Bernard Orr and Lisa Shumaker)

[ 2013 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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