Marcus Mitchell of York City purchases several Mega Millions lottery tickets Monday at Bob’s West End News, 639 W. Market St. The jackpot for
Marcus Mitchell of York City purchases several Mega Millions lottery tickets Monday at Bob's West End News, 639 W. Market St. The jackpot for Tuesday's drawing has reached 586 million. (John A. Pavoncello — jpavoncello@yorkdispatch.com)

The Mega Millions is nearing new heights and its jackpot is expected to go even higher before Tuesday's drawing.

As of Monday night, the jackpot stood at $586 million, the second-highest grand prize in the history of the multi-state lottery.

That means a lucky player, or a number of people, could become instant millionaires if their numbers are drawn.

If one ticket matches all six numbers for the jackpot, the winner will have the choice of receiving the full jackpot in 30 annual payments, or a cash prize of approximately $316.5 million before taxes.

But what to do with such a large sum of money?

Helping out: A number of Yorkers said they'd pay off their debts, take care of their families financially and give a portion to charities.

"I would donate money to help find the cure for cancer and help in any way I could with making the holidays and birthdays of the children in the hospitals as special as I could," said April Fetrow of Springettsbury Township.

Fetrow said the cost for cancer treatment was a driving factor in why she'd help children with the disease.

"The main one would be because I know how expensive the treatment can be and how a lot of parents can't afford it or go into debt trying to afford it," she said.

Tina Trowbridge of Hellam Township said she'd also help children in the form of fostering ones with special needs.

"I feel that special needs kids should have someone that they can trust and be able to understand what they are going through," said Trowbridge, whose 22-year-old son has special needs.

She added she'd pay off house mortgages for family and friends and buy a home for someone who needs it.

Pet help: West York resident Lori Uhrich said she'd use some of the money to help out four-legged friends.

The founder of West York Feline Rescue said she'd buy a large farm to house stray cats and dogs until permanent homes for them can be found.

Blake Stough, a Heidelberg Township resident who founded Preserving York, said he'd pay off debts, buy a new car and house and pay for his children's education.

"The next thing on my list would be to invest in the future of the Preserving York community and similar organizations in the area, which have been my passion for quite some time," he said.

Preserving York is a grassroots community group that presents an online resource where people can learn about the county's history.

But Stough said the added money would be used to save the county's historical treasures.

"I'd also be sure to develop (Preserving York) into its own preservation group that would have the funding to save threatened properties before they are lost," he said.

-- Reach Greg Gross at ggross@yorkdispatch.com.