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Mega Millions Jackpot Soars to Record $215 Million

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

ATLANTA – Mega Millions is on a record-breaking roll, and Georgia Lottery players have their chance to win the highest jackpot in the game’s history. The jackpot for Friday’s (2/20) drawing is an estimated $215 MILLION to a single annuity winner. Adding to the excitement, Friday’s drawing will be held live at 11 p.m. in Times Square in New York City.

“A record-breaking Mega Millions jackpot is great for lottery players and retailers,” said Georgia Lottery President and CEO Margaret DeFrancisco. “It’s also wonderful to know that every dollar raised will benefit lottery-funded educational programs in Georgia.”

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 $8.2 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 $127 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.

Draw Date: February 20, 2004
Jackpot Amount: $215 million
Annuity Amount: Approximately $8.2 million/year for 26 years (before taxes)
Cash Option Amount: Over $127 million (before taxes)
Date Jackpot Began Rolling: January 2, 2004
Number of Rolls: 14
Last Winning Ticket: December 30, 2003 – $162 million (Ohio)
Mega Millions Rank: #1 largest Mega Millions jackpot
#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, 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 1:43.

· Odds for winning the jackpot prize are approximately 1:135 million.

· Mega Millions states include: Georgia, Virginia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Texas and Washington state.

· To date, there have been 23 Mega Millions jackpot winners.

· There have been five Mega Millions jackpot winners in Georgia.

1 05/09/00 The Big Game $363,000,000 Illinois; Michigan
2 04/16/02 The Big Game $331,000,000 Dacula, GA; Illinois; New Jersey
3 02/20/04 Mega Millions $215,000,000 CURRENT JACKPOT
4 04/06/99 The Big Game $197,000,000 Massachusetts
5 06/20/03 Mega Millions $180,000,000 Maryland

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 $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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Fax: 404-215-8983

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Kimberly Starks
Media Relations Manager

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