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CORRECTION: Lottery prize biggest ever

Corrects day of drawing in first paragraph

Posted: March 29, 2012 12:15 p.m.
Updated: March 29, 2012 12:15 p.m.

One lucky person could win the $540 million Mega Million lottery prize in a drawing held 8 p.m. Friday night, California Lottery officials said in a news release today.

This jackpot will be the largest monetary prize awarded in the history of lotteries around the world, according to the release.

The estimated cash option for Friday night's draw is just more than $389 million. If a single individual won the jackpot and the annual payment option was chosen, that person would be paid slightly more than $20 million a year for 26 years before taxes, the release said.

Further, the retailer who sells the jackpot-winning ticket will receive an award of $1 million.

Previously, the largest lottery jackpot was $390 million with a cash option of $233 million. That prize was awarded in March 2007, the release said.

The California State Lottery Act of 1984 was designed to provide money to schools without imposing extra taxes and was required to provide at least 34 percent of lottery revenue to public education.

Another 50-percent of its revenues must be paid in the form of prizes. The remaining 16 percent is to be spent on administration, salaries and organizing lottery games.

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