Monday, November 14, 2005
ATLANTA – Mega Millions is growing by leaps and bounds. As a result of increased ticket sales, lottery officials announced today that the Mega Millions jackpot has been raised from $310 million to $315 MILLION for tonight's drawing. This is the highest jackpot in Mega Millions history.
"Mega jackpots are always mega fun for lottery players," said Georgia Lottery Corporation President and CEO Margaret DeFrancisco. "Even more exciting is knowing that education in the state of Georgia is the ultimate winner."
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 over $12.1 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 more than $184 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.
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 $7.8 billion to the state of Georgia for education. All Georgia Lottery profits go to pay for specific educational programs including Georgia's HOPE Scholarship Program and Georgia's Prekindergarten Program. More than 900,000 students have received HOPE Scholarships, and more than 700,000 4-year-olds have attended the statewide, voluntary prekindergarten program.
MEGA MILLIONS FUN FACTS
Draw Date: November 15, 2005
Jackpot Amount: $315 million
Annuity Amount: Approximately $12.1 million/year for 26 years (before taxes)
Cash Option Amount: More than $184 million (before taxes)
Date Jackpot Began Rolling: September 20, 2005
Number of Rolls: 16
Last Winning Ticket: September 16, 2005 - $258 million (New Jersey)
Mega Millions Rank: #1
Georgia Lottery Rank: #3
#2 Mega Millions Jackpot: July 4, 2004 -$294 million (Massachusetts)
#1 Georgia Lottery Jackpot: The Big Game –May 9, 2000– $363 million (Illinois & Michigan)
· 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 every Tuesday and Friday at 11 p.m. (EST)
· 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 40 Mega Millions jackpot winners.
· There have been six winning Mega Millions jackpot tickets sold in Georgia: Painter Farms – Geraldine, Ala. ($7.1 million); Richard Mika – Savannah ($28.8 million); Stephen Moore – Fitzgerald ($86.4 million); Stephen Cooke – Roswell (purchased two jackpot winning tickets worth $13.3 million each); Margaret Jones – Washington ($77.7 million).
GEORGIA LOTTERY TOP JACKPOTS
#1 5/9/00 The Big Game $363,000,000 Illinois; Michigan
#2 4/16/02 The Big Game $331,000,000 Dacula, GA; Illinois; New Jersey
#3 11/15/05 Mega Millions $315,000,000 CURRENT JACKPOT
#4 7/2/04 Mega Millions $294,000,000 Massachusetts
#5 9/16/05 Mega Millions $258,000,000 New Jersey
#6 2/20/04 Mega Millions $239,000,000 Virginia
#7 4/22/05 Mega Millions $208,000,000 Michigan
#8 4/6/99 The Big Game $197,000,000 Massachusetts
#9 6/20/03 Mega Millions $180,000,000 Maryland
#10 7/22/05 Mega Millions $170,000,000 Ohio
Since its first year, the Georgia Lottery Corporation has returned over $7.8 billion to the state of Georgia for education. All Georgia Lottery profits go to pay for specific educational programs including Georgia's HOPE Scholarship Program and Georgia's Prekindergarten Program. More than 900,000 students have received HOPE Scholarships, and more than 700,000 4-year-olds have attended the statewide, voluntary prekindergarten program.
For more information on the Georgia Lottery Corporation and Mega Millions, please visit:
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Georgia Lottery Corporation
Media Relations Department
Media Relations Manager
media [at] galottery [dot] org