Record-Breaking $1.13 Billion Mega Millions Jackpot Has a Winner From NJ

Record-Breaking $1.13 Billion Mega Millions Jackpot Has a Winner From NJ
Cover Image Source: A lottery ticket vending machine offers Mega Millions tickets for sale | Getty Images | Photo by Scott Olson

In an exhilarating turn of events, the Mega Millions lottery game has crowned a new billionaire! A single ticket, sold at the ShopRite Liquor on Route 66 in Neptune, New Jersey, matched all six numbers drawn on Tuesday night, claiming the staggering $1.128 billion jackpot. The lucky winner has the option to receive a lump sum cash payout of $536.6 million. This remarkable win marks the largest jackpot ever awarded in the history of New Jersey, surpassing the previous record of $533 million in 2018.

Mega Millions forms are ready for customers as the jackpot reached 1.25 billion dollars | Getty Images | Photo by  Joe Raedle
Mega Millions forms are ready for customers as the jackpot reached 1.25 billion dollars | Getty Images | Photo by Joe Raedle

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The winning numbers for the March 26, 2024, Mega Millions drawing were 7, 11, 22, 29, and 38, with the Megaball number 4, and a Megaplier of 2x. Amidst the euphoria of the billion-dollar win, the retailer who sold the winning ticket also shares in the excitement, receiving a $30,000 bonus for their contribution to the historic moment.

This monumental jackpot win has captured the attention of lottery enthusiasts across the nation, with Mega Millions players eagerly checking their tickets for any sign of a match. In addition to the jackpot winner, thirteen fortunate individuals across various states have become millionaires overnight, matching all five white ball numbers to claim million-dollar prizes.

Among these winners, one lucky ticket holder in New York doubled their winnings to $2 million with the Megaplier option, while others in California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio each pocketed $1 million. Notably, the value of the California prize slightly exceeds $1 million due to the state's unique prize structure, based on actual sales.

The Mega Millions jackpot had been steadily climbing since its last win on December 8, 2023, when two California tickets shared a $394 million jackpot.

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As the Mega Millions jackpot resets to a still-substantial $20 million for Friday night's drawing, lottery fever continues to grip the nation. Meanwhile, the Powerball jackpot offers another chance for fortune-seekers, soaring to an impressive $865 million with a cash option of $416.1 million for Wednesday's drawing.

For those unfamiliar with the Mega Millions game, players select five numbers from 1 to 70 for the white balls and one number from 1 to 25 for the Megaball. Each ticket costs $2, with the option to add the Megaplier for an additional $1, which can multiply non-jackpot prizes up to five times. The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are approximately 302,575,350 to 1, while the odds of matching all five white balls are 12,607,306 to 1.

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Tickets for the Mega Millions lottery | Getty Images | Photo by Justin Sullivan
Tickets for the Mega Millions lottery | Getty Images | Photo by Justin Sullivan

Lottery players are reminded to exercise caution and avoid spending winnings before they are secured. Winners must also decide between two payout options: the annuity option, which distributes payments over 30 years with annual increases, or the cash option, providing a lump sum payout. While the cash option is substantially lower than the advertised jackpot, it offers immediate access to the winnings without the wait.

Before the monumental $1 billion win that made headlines, another historic Mega Millions victory unfolded in 2018 whose record is now broken. Johnnie Taylor, a resident of Queens, New York, recently claimed a jaw-dropping $476 million jackpot in April. His remarkable win stands as the largest Mega Millions jackpot victory in the state's history, further enriching the saga of lottery success stories.

"It still doesn’t feel real," Taylor admitted in an interview with the New York Lottery, reflecting on the surreal moment of discovering his newfound wealth. Even his wife had to double-check the numbers online before fully believing in their stroke of luck. Choosing the cash option, Taylor received a lump sum of $157,288,402 after taxes, propelling him into a realm of financial security he never imagined. At 71 years old and retired from his role as a Manhattan handyman, Taylor envisions a future filled with adventure, homeownership, and upgrading his trusty 2012 Prius to a new hybrid vehicle. Taylor's winning ticket came from Liberty Beer and Convenience, a familiar stop near his local subway station where he regularly purchases his lottery tickets. The convenience store, now a beacon of luck, earned a $10,000 bonus for selling the golden ticket that changed Taylor's life forever.

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