Last Tuesday's MegaMillions jackpot ended up at a massive $522-Million, right? Think again. A surge in last-minute ticket buying pushed the final estimated jackpot total up to a whopping $543-Million!
Once all the sales were tallied, the estimated jackpot ended up as the 9th largest in US lottery history, and the 3rd largest in the history of the MegaMillions lottery.
It seems incredible that the winning lottery numbers of 1-2-4-19-29 and the MegaBall 20 could result in only a single ticket holder winning it, but that’s the magic of the lottery. This historic win is now the largest individual MegaMillions jackpot ever. Thanks to that late jump in the jackpot total it just managed to leapfrog the previous record of $536-Million won in Indiana back in July 2016.
With the only winning ticket purchased in San Jose, Calfornia, this also makes it the single largest jackpot in California Lottery history. If the extremely lucky winner decides against the annuity option and instead chooses the cash, they will take home a pre-tax haul of $320.5 Million. Since the state of California doesn't charge tax on lottery winnings, the winner will only need to worry about Federal taxes when staking their claim.
Of course, we won’t know just who the winner is until they hand their signed ticket in at one of the official lottery offices, but hopefully they are taking their time to follow the official advice from the MegaMillions, who ‘strongly encourage’ their large prize winners to get professional financial advice. And they have plenty of time, the ticket remains valid for a year from the date of the draw.
Lucky buyer - Lucky seller!
Somebody who has already claimed their prize for this jackpot is Kewal Sachdev. He is the owner of Ernie's Liquors in San Jose, California. This is the store where the winning lottery ticket was purchased. Lottery officials presented him with a cheque for a cool $1-Million, his reward as the retailer who sold the winning ticket. As news of the good fortune found in his store spreads he can probably expect more customers in the near future. Who wouldn't want to try for a piece of that incredible luck?
More records to fall?
Interestingly, most of the biggest individual MegaMillion lottery wins - 4 out of the top 5 - have occurred within the past year, and that may be no coincidence. In October 2017 the MegaMillions rules changed. They bumped the starting jackpot up from $15-Million to $40-Million and shuffled the number selections around a little, making a slightly smaller main number selection but increasing the options for the MegaBall. That seems to have made quite a difference to the pace of the game ever since.
Right now the record for the biggest MegaMillions jackpot ever is $656-Million, which was won by three individuals in March 2012. How much longer will it be before a single winner takes an even larger jackpot?
It may be some time before the MegaMillions jackpot hits the giddy heights it did earlier this week, but if you're hungry for a monster jackpot, why not try the next US Powerball draw? At $168-Million the jackpot may not be quite as rich, but it's still a very impressive total, and more importantly, it's still up for grabs!