The stuff of big dreams: The 10 largest lottery jackpots in US history

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The excitement is building toward another huge Mega Millions drawing, showing once again that nothing stirs the blood of Americans like a lottery jackpot worth hundreds of millions of dollars or more.

Even if chances of getting struck by an asteroid are higher than winning the money, dreams of beachfront houses, lavish vacations and early retirement spur legions to line up for tickets.

The mounting Mega Millions prize is destined to join this group: the 10 largest lottery jackpots in U.S. history. Note that all prize amounts are before taxes, which can be substantial.

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