Saturday, 20 October 2018

No winner means Mega Millions rises to record $1.6 billion jackpot

If you're checking your numbers Saturday morning for the $1 billion Mega Millions jackpot, you're not a grand prize winner. But neither was anyone else.
The next Mega Millions jackpot will be an estimated $1.6 billion -- the highest total in U.S. lottery history. The cash payout is $904 million.
"We're in unchartered territory," Gordon Medenica, Mega Millions lead director and the director of Maryland Lottery and Gaming, told "Good Morning America" Saturday. "
The drawing will be Tuesday at 11 p.m.
And the record jackpot can increase between now and then.
"Hold on to your hats!" Medenica said. "It could go up even further."
When asked if the grand prize could hit a shocking $2 billion, Medenica said "anything's possible."
"I don't want to jinx it," he added.
The numbers drawn Friday night for the second-largest lottery prize in U.S. history were 15-23-53-65-70 and a Mega Ball of 7. A single winner taking the cash lump sum would have received about $565.6 million.
PHOTO: Customers line up to buy Mega Millions tickets at a newsstand in midtown Manhattan in New York, Oct. 19, 2018. (Mike Sugar/Reuters)
There were a number of smaller winners in Friday's drawing, including 15 people who won at least $1 million for matching each white ball. New York had the highest number of second-prize winners with four. One ticket in Texas was worth $2 million for matching all five white balls and doubling the total with the Megaplier.
The previous record for a lottery drawing was a $1.59 billion windfall for the Powerball in January 2016. That jackpot was split three ways.
PHOTO: An impromptu 'One Billion dollars' sign is on display as customers line up to buy Mega Millions tickets at a newsstand in midtown Manhattan in New York, Oct. 19, 2018. (Mike Sugar/Reuters)
The $1 billion prize has attracted buyers to rush to get the tickets before Friday night's drawing.
At Penn Station in New York, where players had bought winning tickets in the past, there were more hopefuls vying for the $1 billion.
"That's the winning ticket, and if I do win, this is the last time you will ever see me in Penn Station. Thank you and have a good day,” Phil Sparacino, a lottery player, told The Associated Press.
Even those who could not get the tickets themselves are asking friends and family to get tickets for them.
"It's really cool. I'm actually getting this for my mom. So my mom just called me to get the lottery for her. So yeah, I hope we win. We'll see,” Alexa Sibayan told the AP while on line waiting to buy tickets.
PHOTO: People stand in line to purchase Mega Millions tickets in Washington, on Oct. 19, 2018, as the jackpot nears one billion dollars. (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)
Some people already have a plan for the winning prize, too.
"We hope we win. We hope a lot of people win but ... if we do win, we want to give a lot of it away to charity,” Mel Kleinman told the AP.
Kirit Prajapati, who sells lottery tickets at a Carlton Cards shop in Penn Station, said the store has been packed with people hoping to win. "It's busy, you see? It's madness going on,” Prajapati told the AP.
Medenica said the jackpot has "become a national phenomenon because it's a positive story."
"It's the dream that everyone has," he said. "Everyone asks themselves, 'What would I do?"
Meanwhile, the jackpot for Powerball skyrocketed to almost half a billion after no one won Wednesday.
The winning numbers for Powerball, a comparatively meager sum of just $345 million, were 3-57-64-68-69 and a Powerball of 15. One person in Florida won $2 million, while tickets in New Jersey, Massachusetts and Kentucky each were worth $1 million.
PHOTO: An updated paper sign is displayed the counter of a 7-Eleven store shows that the Mega Millions estimated jackpot has soared to $1 billion, as the second-largest prize in U.S. lottery history gets even bigger, Oct. 19, 2018, in Chicago. (Teresa Crawford/AP Photo)
The pot rises to $430 million for Saturday's drawing. The cash payout is $248 million.
The next drawing for Powerball is Saturday.
But the record numbers are being left to the Mega Millions jackpot, set to be drawn on Friday. The projected prize would be the second-largest payout in U.S. lottery history.
The only lottery payout in history that was larger than Friday's $1 billion total was a Powerball drawing for $1.59 billion in January 2016. Three winners split that total.
PHOTO: The Mega Millions lotto drawing is up to $521 million, March 30, 2018. (Emilie Richardson/ABC News)
The Mega Millions jackpot has skyrocketed since the July 24 drawing when a group of 11 coworkers in Santa Clara County, California, shared a $543 million jackpot, the game's fourth-largest.
More than $1.4 billion in combined potential prize money was up for grabs over the weekend, with Saturday night's Powerball prize estimated at $430 million -- or a one-time cash prize of nearly $248 million and Friday's Mega Millions prize at $1 billion

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