(NEW YORK) -- If you find yourself holding the winning ticket after Tuesday night's lottery drawing for the Mega Millions jackpot of $244 million, three words: Sign it immediately.
That was the advice of Carolyn Hapeman, spokeswoman for the New York State Lottery and the person tasked with going out and awarding those big checks to shocked folks.
The top prize in Mega Millions, played in 41 states, Washington D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands, has been growing twice a week since Feb. 1, when the Bolke family of Illinois and a Michigan group of postal workers split a $93 million jackpot.
Hapeman said the odds of winning Tuesday night's jackpot were one in 176 million. The $244 million can be received two ways: an annuity that is paid out in 26 payments over 25 years or a cash option of $155 million.
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