One person in Illinois won the $1.28 billion Mega Millions jackpot, the third largest prize in U.S history after stores reported a 30 percent increase in lotto ticket sales.
Mega Millions officials confirmed that a winning ticket for the jackpot was sold in Illinois, but the identity of the winner has yet to be confirmed.
Friday’s winning numbers were 67, 45, 57, 36, and 13 The mega millions ball was 14, with the winner able to overcome the 1 in 303 million odds.
Friday’s jackpot winner will have the option of receiving the $1.28 billion over the course of 29 years, or opt for a lump sum of $747.2 million in cash.
The fervor to claim the prize, which after 29 consecutive drawings soared to the point where vendor signs had trouble displaying the full amount.
One Manhattan deli employee told the New York Post that ticket sales at his store were up by as much as 35 percent ahead of Friday’s drawing.
As many were eager to claim the jackpot on Friday, ticket sales were through the roof, with Charlie McIntyre, executive director of the New Hampshire Lottery, estimating that $200,000 worth of tickets were sold per hour in his state.
‘Because it’s… the tourist season, we’re seeing a bunch of folks from out of state play,’ McIntyre told WMUR, noting that New Hampshire is the only New England state that doesn’t take income tax.
Ohio Lottery Director Pat McDonald, who leads the Mega Millions consortium, said he was eager to hear if anyone could claim the prize anytime soon.
‘We are thrilled with the opportunity Mega Millions provides to retailers, players and good causes throughout the country,’ he said in a statement.
Some of that good is already being seen as high ticket purchases have raised $16.5 million in North Carolina for education, ABC 13 reported.
‘When you buy that two dollar ticket, about 76 cents will be going to education,’ Van Denton, NC Education Lottery communications director, told the outlet.
That money goes to every county in the state to pay for school staff, transportation and repair costs, as well as supporting North Carolina’s pre-k program and scholarship funds.
Jackpot hopeful Jennifer Ho (above) showed off the more than 50 lottery picks she bought at the Lichine’s Liquors & Deli in Sacramento, California, on Friday
Lottery officials in New Hampshire estimated that $200,000 worth of tickets were sold per hour on Friday. Pictured: Pierre’s Palace manager Bruce Gideos selling a Mega Millions ticket to a customer in Chesterfield
If nobody had hit all six numbers, the grand prize would have reached a historic $1.7 billion, according to Mega millions announcer John Crow.
The largest Mega Millions jackpot was recorded at $1.537 billion in October 2018, where an anonymous South Carolina player claimed the prize.
Mega Millions now lists the winnings for the next drawing, scheduled for Tuesday, at $20 million.
First published in Daily Mail (UK)