NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The Mega Millions jackpot has soared to $586 million, near a U.S. lottery record.  If Tuesday's drawing doesn't produce a winner, the jackpot could top the $1 billion mark by Christmas Eve.


It could be a very Merry Christmas for the next Mega Millions jackpot winner -- as the top prize nears a U.S. lottery record.

After twenty-one straight drawings without a winner, the initial October 4th jackpot of $12 million has grown to a whopping $586 million. With the frenzy of ticket buyers growing as the jackpot increases, there's still the possibility that Tuesday's drawing could beat the current record of $656 million that was set in March 2012.

The jackpot could actually pass the $1 billion mark by Christmas Eve if the next drawing does not produce a winner... And it might not, as the Mega Millions rules have recently been changed -- making the odds of winning the jackpot lower than before.

However, those buying tickets for this drawing still have reason to be hopeful.  The new rules actually increase the odds of winning a smaller prize to 1 in 15 chances.  In New York, I'm Brittany Umar for TheStreet.

Written by Brittany Umar in New York.

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