Monday, March 5, 2007
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 for tonight's drawing has been raised from $355 million to a whopping $370 MILLION to a single annuity winner.
Georgia Lottery players have their chance to win the highest jackpot in U.S. history. Adding to the excitement, tonight's drawing will be held live in New York City's Times Square at 11 p.m.
"The Mega Millions jackpot has soared to a staggering amount, which is exciting for players and important for the educational programs we fund," said Georgia Lottery Corporation President and CEO Margaret DeFrancisco. "Georgia Lottery players have a chance to win big, and the students of Georgia certainly win big with every ticket purchased."
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 $14.2 million a year (before taxes) for 26 years with the annuity option. Or a player could select the cash option and win a single check worth more than $221 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.
MEGA MILLIONS FAST FACTS
Draw Date: March 6, 2007
Jackpot Amount: $370 MILLION
Annuity Amount: Approximately $14.2 million/year for 26 years (before taxes)
Cash Option Amount: Over $221 million (before taxes)
Date Jackpot Began Rolling: January 12, 2007
Number of Rolls: 15
Last Winning Ticket: January 9, 2007 - $122 million (Texas)
Mega Millions Rank: #1
Georgia Lottery Rank: #1
• 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 60 Mega Millions jackpot winners.
• There have been 7 Mega Millions jackpot winning tickets purchased in Georgia.
• Georgia Lottery players can win $250,000 by matching the first five winning numbers.
• Since July 1, 2005, Georgia Lottery players have won $23.5 million with the quarter-million dollar second prize.
GEORGIA LOTTERY TOP JACKPOTS
#1 3/6/07 Mega Millions $370,000,000 CURRENT JACKPOT
#2 5/9/00 The Big Game $363,000,000 Illinois; Michigan
#3 4/16/02 The Big Game $331,000,000 Dacula, Georgia; Illinois; New Jersey
#4 11/15/05 Mega Millions $315,000,000 California
#5 7/2/04 Mega Millions $294,000,000 Massachusetts
#6 2/28/06 Mega Millions $270,000,000 Ohio
#7 4/18/06 Mega Millions $265,000,000 Ohio
#8 9/16/05 Mega Millions $258,000,000 New Jersey
#9 2/20/04 Mega Millions $239,000,000 Virginia
#10 4/22/05 Mega Millions $208,000,000 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 $8.8 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 1 million students have received HOPE, and more than 790,000 4-year-olds have attended the statewide, voluntary prekindergarten program.
For more information, please visit the Media Center on the GLC Web site at:
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Georgia Lottery Corporation
Media Relations Department
Media Relations Manager
media [at] galottery [dot] org