Editor's Note: The following information is from a Pennsylvania Lottery press release.
No, it wasn't the big, big one, but a lucky Phoenixville Giant customer purchased a ticket worth a not too shabby $250,000.
Crushing the previous record of $390 million, the Mega Millions® jackpot for the March 30 drawing has grown to world-record size: a $500 million annuity or$359.4 million cash.
Two Mega Millions tickets worth $250,000 each from the March 27 drawing were sold at the following locations:
- Giant, 700 Nutt Road, Phoenixville, Chester County; and
- Shamrock Beverage, 1730 MacDade Blvd., Folsom, Delaware County.
Each retailer will receive a $500 bonus for selling a winning ticket.
Each winning ticket correctly matched all five white balls, 09-19-34-44-51, but not the yellow Mega Ball 24, to win individual prizes of $250,000, less 25 percent federal withholding.
Lottery officials cannot confirm the identity of either winner until each prize is claimed and each ticket is validated. Pennsylvania Lottery Mega Millions winners have one year from the drawing date to claim prizes.
The Lottery encourages each holder of a winning ticket to sign the back of the ticket, call the Lottery at 717-702-8146 and file a claim at Lottery headquarters in Middletown, Dauphin County, or at any of Lottery's seven area offices.
Claims may be filed at Lottery headquarters Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at area offices.
The current Mega Millions jackpot run began Friday, Jan. 27. There have been 18 draws without a jackpot winner, and the March 30 drawing will be the 19th in the current run.
"With a jackpot of $500 million or $359.4 million, if one, two or three jackpot-winning tickets are sold for Friday night's drawing – so long as one of them is sold in Pennsylvania – the prize would set a record as the biggest jackpot ever won in the history of the Pennsylvania Lottery," said Pennsylvania Lottery Executive Director Todd Rucci. "We encourage players to have fun with this jackpot fever, but always remember to play responsibly."
Tickets for Friday night's Mega Millions drawing will be available until 9:59 p.m. on March 30 at more than 9,000 Lottery retailers statewide.
Anticipating high interest in the jackpot, the Lottery is taking steps to ensure retailers have sufficient ticket stock. Additionally, it has temporarily suspended routine terminal maintenance that could interrupt ticket sales.
"We're doing all we can to facilitate sales for this huge jackpot," said Rucci. "A record jackpot like this provides entertainment value for loyal and new Lottery players, benefits our retail partners with growing commissions and most importantly provides tremendous opportunity for generating additional funding for programs benefiting older Pennsylvanians."
Through March 27, Pennsylvania sold nearly $37.9 million worth of Mega Millions tickets over the last 18 drawings, which translates into nearly $11.4 million in profits for programs benefiting older Pennsylvanians.
While Pennsylvania has yet to have a Mega Millions jackpot winner, 11 tickets worth $250,000 each were sold in Pennsylvania so far this year for matching five white balls. Additionally, one Pennsylvania player won a $1 millionmatch-five prize by purchasing the Megaplier this year.
The largest prize ever awarded by the Pennsylvania Lottery is a $115.5 million Super 7 jackpot from the April 26, 1989, drawing that was shared among 14 winning tickets. The largest Pennsylvania Lottery prize awarded to a single winning ticket was the $110.3 million Powerball jackpot from May 8, 2004, claimed by a New Jersey couple.
In the 2010-11 fiscal year, in addition to awarding $39.9 million and $72.3 million in prizes to Chester and Delaware county winners, respectively, the Pennsylvania Lottery contributed nearly $21.4 million to programs that benefited older residents of Chester County and more than $43.4 million to programs serving Delaware County's older residents.
How to Play Mega Millions: Mega Millions tickets cost $1 per play. Players pick five numbers from 1 to 56 and one number from 1 to 46 (the Mega Ball). Players can pick their own numbers or have numbers randomly selected by computer. For an extra $1 per play, players can add the Megaplier. Prior to the Mega Millions drawing, the Megaplier number—ranging from two to four—is randomly selected.
A player who matches five white balls and purchased Megaplier wins $1 million. Other non-jackpot prizes are multiplied by the Megaplier number drawn.
Mega Millions tickets are sold in 44 participating jurisdictions. Drawings are held on Tuesdays and Fridays.