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Winner Of Mega Millions $1B Jackpot From Michigan

SACRAMENTO (AP/CBS13) — One winning ticket was sold in Michigan for the $1 billion Mega Millions jackpot, making it the third-largest lottery prize in U.S. history.

The winning numbers drawn Friday are: 4, 26, 42, 50, 60 and a Mega Ball of 24.

The Mega Millions top prize had been growing since Sept. 15, when a winning ticket was sold in Wisconsin.

Lottery officials say bad luck, poor odds and reduced play partially blamed on the coronavirus pandemic are the reasons why no one has won for a while. The lottery’s next estimated jackpot is $20 million.

Only two lottery prizes in the U.S. have been larger than Friday’s jackpot. Three tickets for a $1.586 billion Powerball jackpot were sold in January 2016, and one winning ticket sold for a $1.537 billion Mega Millions jackpot in October 2018.

It’s only the third time a lottery jackpot has grown so large, but much has changed since the last time such a big prize was up for grabs in 2018. The odds of winning a jackpot remained the same — incredibly small — but for a variety of reasons fewer people are playing Mega Millions or Powerball, the two lottery games offered in most of the country.

And even as the huge Mega Millions prize and a $731.1 million Powerball jackpot won Wednesday by a single ticket sold in Maryland have juiced sales for the games, Maryland lottery director Gordon Medenica noted: “We’re not out of the woods yet.”

Medenica acknowledged sales were dramatically lower before the pandemic, and they tanked even further in the spring and summer.

After a peak in October 2018, Medenica said sales of the big lottery games dropped about 50%, prompting talk among lottery officials about jackpot fatigue. Sales of Mega Millions and Powerball continued to decline after the virus hit along with other lottery games, but while scratch tickets and other instant games rebounded strongly later in the year, national game sales remained moribund.

In response to falling sales, officials updated the national games to reduce starting jackpots from $40 million to $20 million and changed rules about guaranteed minimum increases between drawings. The moves made fiscal sense but they caused jackpots to grow more slowly, further tamping down sales, as demonstrated by the record 37 draws without a winner it took to reach the current Mega Millions jackpot that’s still far less than the all-time highs.

“That’s why it takes so many rolls to get up to a high jackpot level,” Medenica said.

What hasn’t changed are the odds.

By design, Mega Millions and Powerball are relatively generous in awarding small-dollar prizes and lottery officials boast there is a roughly one in 24 chance of winning something. But to generate huge jackpots, officials must be absolutely miserly about paying jackpots.

It’s hard to fathom how unlikely it is to beat odds of one in 292.2 million for Powerball or one in 302.5 million for Mega Millions.

To get a sense of your chances, Steven Bleiler, a mathematics and statistics professor at Portland State University, said people should imagine a swimming pool 40 feet (12.2 meters) wide, 120 feet (36.6 meters) long and 5 feet (1.5 meters) deep, filled to the brim with M&Ms, only one of which is green. To win, all a player must do is jump in blindfolded and wade around until finding that single green candy.

Andrew Swift, a mathematics professor at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, put it this way: Your chances of picking up two oysters and finding a pearl in both are about twice as likely as winning either lottery jackpot.

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Still, someone always ultimately wins, and it happened again after Wednesday night’s Powerball drawing when a single ticket sold at a convenience store in the small community of Lonaconing, Maryland, hit all six numbers, and again Friday with the Mega Millions.

What comes next is unclear. Some states are banking on growth in online games, but while the 10 states that allow purchases on computers and phone apps are seeing rising sales, such purchases remain a relatively small percentage of overall revenue.

“The current roll has revived the game as it’s been designed,” Medenica said. “Whether we continue to consider making changes or not is to be seen.”

One winning ticket was sold in Michigan for the $1 billion Mega Millions jackpot, making it the third-largest lottery prize in U.S. history.

Update: Winning Ticket for $1 Billion Mega Millions Jackpot Sold in Michigan

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF/AP) — One winning ticket has been sold in the $1 billion Mega Millions jackpot.

The top prize drawn on Friday is the third-largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history. The winning numbers are: 4, 26, 42, 50, 60 and a Mega Ball of 24. The winning ticket was sold in Michigan at a Kroger store in Novi.

There were 26 tickets sold in California that matched 4 numbers and the Mega Number. Those tickets were worth $11,036 a piece.

The Mega Millions jackpot had been growing since Sept. 15, when a winning ticket was sold in Wisconsin.

Mega Millions numbers Jan. 22, 2021

The California Lottery Twitter account posted Friday morning that the jackpot had hit the $1 billion mark.

The #MegaMillions jackpot is now $1 Billion, yes we said BILLION. Do you have your ticket yet? Tickets should be purchased during essential shopping trips only. #PlayForMillions #PlayItSafe #CALottery pic.twitter.com/NhNdvrTeLO

With the rush of people buying last-minute tickets Friday, the final Mega Millions prize could rise even higher. The drawing will be held at 8 p.m. PST Friday night.

The prize has gotten so big that it has outgrown the digital lottery display signs that can only show a jackpot up to $999 million.

A steady stream of lottery hopefuls were buying tickets Friday afternoon at a gas station in Hercules. Everyone has a dream. One man said he’d help the Richmond Snoop Dogg Youth Football League. Another player named Rosa said she was feeling lucky on her birthday.

When asked how many ticket she bought, Rosa replied, “Just one. You only need one to win right?”

Lottery spokesperson Jorge De La Cruz said via Zoom he was looking forward to a historic night.

“If the jackpot is hit, it will be the third largest in U.S. history,” said De La Cruz.

Two weeks ago, a Mega Millions lottery ticket was purchased at a gas station in Brentwood that was worth more than $2.3 million, California Lottery officials said.

While the massive Powerball prize worth an estimated $731.1 million was won by a single lucky ticket purchaser in Maryland earlier this week, players in the Bay Area still have a chance to cash in with the Mega Millions game.

That winning Powerball ticket was old in Allegany County, located in northwestern Maryland, but additional details weren’t immediately available, the Maryland Lottery said in a statement. Just who gets these riches may never be known: In Maryland, winners have the right to remain anonymous.

The Powerball jackpot was the fifth-largest U.S. lottery jackpot ever. Winning numbers for Wednesday night’s Powerball drawing were: 40-53-60-68-69 and a Powerball of 22.

This week marked the first time both lottery jackpots topped $700 million. The biggest prize for either game was a $1.58 billion Powerball jackpot won by three people in 2016.

No one had won either of the jackpots since mid-September, allowing the prizes to grow steadily for months. Such a long stretch without a winner is rare, but also reflects the incredibly small odds of winning — 1 in 292.2 million for Powerball and 1 in 302.5 million for Mega Millions.

Mega Millions and Powerball are both played in 45 states as well as Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press and KPIX 5’s Don Ford contributed to this report

One winning ticket has been sold Michigan for the $1 billion Mega Millions jackpot. ]]>