USA TODAY: By Wyatte Grantham-Philips – A shopper at a Speedway gas station and convenience store in Des Plaines, Illinois, won the whopping, almost $1.34 billion Mega Millions jackpot Friday night, according to the lottery game’s website.
The closely-watched jackpot, which climbed by hundreds of millions in just the last week alone, is the second-largest in Mega Millions’ history. It also marks the nation’s third-highest lottery prize yet, across all games.
The winning numbers for the $1.337 billion jackpot (with an estimated cash option of $780.5 million) were: 13-36-45-57-67, Mega Ball: 14.
The lucky ticketholder in Illinois won it all, beating the 1 in 303 million odds of winning the game’s jackpot. Mega Millions didn’t identify the ticket holder by name as of Saturday morning.
The winner has netted the largest lottery prize ever won in Illinois, according to the Illinois Lottery. The Speedway store also gets a cash bonus of $500,000 for selling the winning ticket.
“Congratulations to the Illinois Lottery for selling the winning ticket,” Pat McDonald, Ohio Lottery director and current lead director for the Mega Millions Consortium, said in a news release. “We are thrilled to have witnessed one of the biggest jackpot wins in Mega Millions history. We’re eager to find out who won and look forward to congratulating the winner soon!”
Also in Friday’s drawing, 26 tickets won $1 million prizes – matching all five numbers except for the Mega Ball. Those winners were located in California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin.
Six tickets matched all five numbers except for the Mega Ball and included the Megaplier worth $2 million. Three winning tickets were purchased in Florida, while the other winners were sold in Arizona, Iowa and Pennsylvania.
At the time of Friday’s drawing, the jackpot was $1.28 billion. Lottery officials reported the amount rose to $1.337 billion Saturday morning, according to the Mega Millions site. The $1.337 billion jackpot is for winners who choose the annuity option, with the prize paid over 29 years. Most opt for the cash option, which for Friday night’s drawing was an estimated $780.5 million.
Friday’s Mega Millions jackpot became so large because no one had matched the game’s selected numbers since April 15 – marking 29 consecutive draws without a jackpot winner.
The Mega Millions jackpots start at $20 million and grow based on ticket sales and interest rates, according to the game’s website. If no one wins, the amount is added to the jackpot for the next drawing.
As of now, the largest Mega Millions jackpot ever won was $1.537 billion, won in South Carolina on October 23, 2018. In addition to Friday’s $1.34 billion, four Mega Millions jackpots have been won in 2022 so far – in California, New York, Minnesota and Tennessee – according to the game’s website.
When looking across all the nation’s lottery games, just two prizes have topped Friday’s $1.337 billion so far: The $1.537 billion Mega Millions jackpot and a record-breaking Powerball jackpot of $1.586 billion won on Jan. 13, 2016.
Mega Millions is played in 45 states as well as Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The game is coordinated by state lotteries.
Drawings are held two times per week at about 11 p.m. ET each Tuesday and Friday. The next drawing will be held Tuesday, August 2.
Contributing: Mike Snider, USA TODAY. Chris Sims, Indianapolis Star. The Associated Press.
Top Feature Photo: Scott Hall USA Today