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Mega Millions Jackpot Jumps to $250 Million

Thursday, September 15, 2005

ATLANTA – Mega Millions is growing by leaps and bounds with the jackpot for Friday’s drawing at an estimated $250 MILLION to a single annuity winner. As the jackpot climbs, Georgia Lottery players are excited about their chance to win a jackpot worth an estimated quarter-billion dollars! It only takes $1 for a chance to win big.

“It’s the most fun a dollar can buy,” said Georgia Lottery Corporation President and CEO Margaret DeFrancisco. “Just as exciting is knowing that each dollar raised benefits the educational programs we fund. Georgia’s students remain the ultimate winners.”

So how does one spend $250 million? Fly around the world on a $2.85 million private jet. Or sail around the world on a $5.75 million yacht. But why travel the world when staying at home can be just as much fun?

§ Try entertaining friends at your $50 million home in the Hamptons and invite neighbors who have produced several Hollywood blockbusters.

§ Or if you prefer warmer weather, $75 million buys you a home in Palm Beach and neighbors that include a famous publishing family.

§ Of course, you’ll need a full staff. A butler will wake you each morning for only $120,000 a year.

§ Enjoy breakfast in bed prepared by a personal chef for $70,000 a year.

§ The housekeeper will vacuum any crumbs for $45,000 a year.

§ And $180,000 a year will hire an estate manager to guarantee that all of your parties are a smashing success!

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 $9.6 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 $153 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 16, 2005, is an estimated $250 million (before taxes) to a single winner.
· The annuity amount is approximately $9.6 million a year (before taxes) for 26 years.
· The cash option amount is over $151 million (before taxes).
· The current jackpot is the second highest in Mega Millions history and the fourth highest in Georgia Lottery history.
· The current jackpot began rolling on July 26, 2005 and has rolled 15 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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