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Mega Millions Jackpot Soars to $172 Million

Wednesday, September 7, 2005

ATLANTA – Mega Millions is soaring with the jackpot for Friday’s drawing at an estimated $172 million to a single annuity winner. It only takes $1 for a chance to win, and Georgia Lottery players are imagining how they would spend $172 million.

“As the Mega Millions jackpot grows, excitement builds around the state,” said Georgia Lottery Corporation President and CEO Margaret DeFrancisco. “Just as exciting for Georgians is knowing that every ticket purchased benefits the educational programs we fund.”

So what can Georgians enjoy with $172 million?
§ Have a peachy day: Enjoy 123 million pounds of tasty Georgia peaches.
§ Get nutty: Munch on 117 million pounds of Georgia peanuts.
§ Ring out: Deep-fry 202 million pounds of Vidalia onions.
§ Stay sweet: Snack on 35 million Claxton Fruit Cakes.

Mega Millions offers players two payment options: 26 annual payments in equal installments or a single check worth the cash value of the estimated jackpot. Any lucky Mega Millions player who matches all five white ball numbers, along with the Mega Ball number, could walk away with approximately $6.6 million a year (before taxes) for 26 years with the annuity option. Or a player could pre-select the cash option and win a single check worth over $106 million (before taxes).

Any Georgia Lottery retailer who sells a winning Mega Millions jackpot ticket can earn the $25,000 retailer incentive bonus payment. If more than one winning jackpot ticket is sold in Georgia, the retailers selling the winning tickets will share the $25,000 retailer incentive bonus.

· The Mega Millions jackpot for Friday, September 9, 2005 is an estimated $172 million (before taxes) to a single winner.
· The annuity amount is approximately $6.6 million a year (before taxes) for 26 years.
· The cash option amount is over $106 million (before taxes).
· The current jackpot is the fifth highest in Mega Millions history and the eighth highest in Georgia Lottery history.
· The current jackpot began rolling on July 26, 2005 and has rolled 13 times.
· The last Mega Millions winning jackpot ticket was for the July 22, 2005 drawing. The winning ticket for the $170 million jackpot was purchased in Ohio.
· Mega Millions tickets went on sale May 15, 2002 when The Big Game, established in 1996, became Mega Millions.
· The first Mega Millions drawing was held on May 17, 2002.
· Mega Millions drawings are held live in Atlanta, Ga. every Tuesday and Friday at 11 p.m.
· Georgia winners have 180 days from the draw date to claim their prize.
· Overall odds of winning any Mega Millions prize are approximately 1:40.
· Odds for winning the jackpot prize are approximately 1:175 million.
· Mega Millions states include: Georgia, Virginia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Texas, Washington state and California.
· To date, there have been 39 Mega Millions jackpot winners. There have been six Mega Millions jackpot winners in Georgia.
· The largest Mega Millions jackpot was $294 million on July 2, 2004. The winning ticket was purchased in Massachusetts.
· The largest jackpot in Georgia Lottery history was when The Big Game reached $363 million on May 9, 2000. The winning tickets were purchased in Illinois and Michigan.

As with all other Georgia Lottery games, proceeds from Mega Millions will benefit education in the state of Georgia. Since its first year, the Georgia Lottery Corporation has returned over $7.6 billion to the state of Georgia for education. All Georgia Lottery profits go to pay for specific educational programs. These include Georgia’s HOPE scholarship program; a statewide, voluntary pre-kindergarten program for four-year-olds; and a wide range of technological and capital upgrades for the state’s schools, technical institutes, colleges, universities and public libraries.


For more information, please visit the Media Center on the GLC Web site at:

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Georgia Lottery Corporation
Media Relations Department
Voice: 404-215-5062
Fax: 404-215-8983
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Kimberly Starks
Media Relations Manager

P 404.215.5062
F 404.215.8983
media [at] galottery [dot] org

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