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3/30/2012
 

Mega Millions® Jackpot Soars to $640 Million Annuity, $462 Million Cash

Middletown – Pennsylvania Lottery players have until 9:59 p.m. tonight to purchase tickets for the world-record Mega Millions jackpot, which today grew again, to a $640 million annuity value and $462 million cash prize. 

“As of noon today, Pennsylvania Lottery Mega Millions tickets were selling at about $500 per second, or $30,000 per minute,” said Pennsylvania Lottery Executive Director Todd Rucci. “We encourage players to have fun with this jackpot fever, but always remember to play responsibly.”

Higher-than-expected sales have allowed Mega Millions to increase the jackpot amount three times since announcing a $476 million annuity prize on Tuesday, March 27, after no players matched all the winning numbers drawn that evening.  

“With a jackpot this large, multiple jackpot-winning tickets could be sold,” Rucci said. “If a ticket is sold in Pennsylvania, the prize would set a record as the biggest jackpot ever won in the history of the Pennsylvania Lottery.”

If a single, jackpot-winning ticket is sold for this evening’s drawing, a winner taking the $640 million annuity value, which is paid over 26 years, would have a prize that breaks down to a value of $67,439.41 per day, before federal taxes are withheld.

The current Mega Millions jackpot run began Friday, Jan. 27. There have been 18 draws without a jackpot winner, and the March 30 drawing will be the 19th in the current run. 

Through noon today, Pennsylvania sold nearly $55.2 million worth of Mega Millions tickets over the last 18 drawings, which translates into nearly $16.6 million in profits for programs benefiting older Pennsylvanians.

To meet increased ticket demand, the Lottery continues working to ensure retailers have adequate ticket stock. Also, routine terminal maintenance that could interrupt ticket sales has been suspended.

“We’re doing all we can to facilitate sales for this huge jackpot,” said Rucci. “A record jackpot like this provides entertainment value for loyal and new Lottery players, benefits our retail partners with growing commissions and -- most importantly -- provides tremendous opportunity for generating additional funding for programs benefiting older Pennsylvanians.”

While Pennsylvania has yet to have a Mega Millions jackpot winner, 11 tickets worth $250,000 each were sold in Pennsylvania so far this year for matching five white balls. Additionally, one Pennsylvania player won a $1 million match-five prize by purchasing the Megaplier this year.

The largest prize ever awarded by the Pennsylvania Lottery is a $115.5 million Super 7 jackpot from the April 26, 1989, drawing that was shared among 14 winning tickets. The largest Pennsylvania Lottery prize awarded to a single winning ticket was the $110.3 million Powerball jackpot from May 8, 2004, claimed by a New Jersey couple.

Mega Millions has been a welcome addition to the Pennsylvania Lottery’s product portfolio, allowing the Lottery to offer big jackpots four nights a week and providing a mega-jackpot opportunity for Pennsylvania players who prefer the $1 price point.  

Since joining the game in January 2010, Pennsylvania Lottery Mega Millions ticket sales total about $250 million, generating about $75 million for programs benefitting older Pennsylvanians.

How to Play Mega Millions: Mega Millions tickets cost $1 per play. Players pick five numbers from 1 to 56 and one number from 1 to 46 (the Mega Ball). Players can pick their own numbers or have numbers randomly selected by computer. For an extra $1 per play, players can add the Megaplier. Prior to the Mega Millions drawing, the Megaplier number – ranging from two to four – is randomly selected. 

A player who matches five white balls and purchased Megaplier wins $1 million.  Other non-jackpot prizes are multiplied by the Megaplier number drawn.

Mega Millions tickets are sold in 44 participating jurisdictions. Drawings are held on Tuesdays and Fridays.

About the Pennsylvania Lottery: The Pennsylvania Lottery remains the only state lottery that designates all its proceeds to programs that benefit older residents. Since its inception in 1971, the Pennsylvania Lottery has contributed nearly $21.5 billion to programs that include property tax and rent rebates; free transit and reduced-fare shared rides; the low-cost prescription drug programs PACE and PACENET; long-term living services; and the 52 Area Agencies on Aging, including full- and part-time senior centers throughout the state. The Pennsylvania Lottery reminds its players to play responsibly. Players must be 18 or older. 

For drawings results, winning numbers, winners’ stories and to subscribe to the Lottery’s RSS news feed, visit www.palottery.com. Also log in to Facebook and like us at www.facebook.com/palottery or follow us at www.twitter.com/palottery.

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