The fourth-largest jackpot in the fifteen-year history of Mega Millions and the 10th largest in all lotteries in the U.S. was claimed by a single Quick Pick ticket matching all six winning numbers in Friday’s draw. The jackpot worth $450 million has a take-home cash option of $281 million.
According to lottery officials, the lucky ticket matching the winning numbers 28, 30, 39, 59, 70 and Gold Mega Ball 10 in the Friday draw was purchased in Florida at a 7-Eleven in Port Richey.
While the winner’s identity is still not known or announced, it cannot remain anonymous for long under Florida law. The Florida Lottery website clearly states that the winner’s name, the city of residence and the details of the win are allowed to be made public; however, the winner’s home address and telephone number are “confidential” information.
“The retailer will receive a $100,000 bonus commission for selling the jackpot-winning ticket,” the Florida Lottery announced in a Saturday news release.
The three Mega Million wins larger than the Friday jackpot in the lottery’s recent history have been $536 million in 2016, $648 million in 2013 and the 2012 record highest of $656 million.
Out of the 21 million tickets sold for all prizes, eight were Match 5 winning tickets sold one each in Tennessee, Massachusetts, California and Virginia two each in Oklahoma and Texas.
For the next drawing on January 9, the Mega Millions jackpot will be reset to the start amount of $40 million, with a cash option of $25 should the winner opt for the lump sum offer.
And, with Saturday night’s 10:59 p.m. (ET) draw results for the $570 million Powerball jackpot expected any moment, millions are waiting to be made. The lottery organizers have estimated the cash option for this fifth largest jackpot in the game’s history at $358.5 million.
Players can purchase Powerball tickets in 44 states plus Washington D.C, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Rico, Mega Millions tickets are also sold in the same locations, barring Puerto Rico.
— Powerball USA (@PowerballUSA) January 4, 2018
According to the National Association of Convenience Stores spokesman Jeff Lenard, long odds have not deterred people from queuing up at retailers to purchase the 2-dollar tickets – the “lottery fever” continues unabated.
The Association’s members account for about 60 percent of all lottery ticket sales across the country. “There’s definitely more traffic,” says Lenard.
According to Mega Millions, the odds of a single ticket winning its jackpot are 303 million to one, while the Multi-State Lottery Association estimates the odds of one ticket matching all six Powerball numbers at 292 million to 1.
The North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries’ stats show that Americans spent a whopping $80.5 billion on lotteries in 2017.
The average American buys about $205 worth of lottery tickets every year across the country, with the exception of some East Coast states where the purchase per person is twice as much.
A study conducted by LendEDU, the online student refinancing company, reveals that a mind-boggling $735 is spent annually by the average Massachusetts resident, while Rhode Islanders are somewhat more cautious, spending $514 a year. Delaware and New York residents spend around $400 annually, on an average.
January 2016 was witness to the largest jackpot payout of $1.6 billion between winning tickets in Florida, Tennessee, and California and, as already mentioned, the highest single winning Mega Millions jackpot ticket was $656 million in 2012.
With no wins since October on both the jackpots, the combined total has exceeded $1 billion. A day before the Saturday announcement, not a single ticket had matched all six numbers for the Mega Millions JP.
Should a winner decide to go for the annuity payment instead of the reduced one-time cash option, both Powerball and Mega Millions will pay the winning amount over a period of 29 years. Understandably and sensibly, most winners go for the lump sum option.