US lottery jackpot tops $500 million, sets world record

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Mega Millions logo.
Image: Mega Millions.

Mega Millions, a multi-state lottery in the United States, produced no winner on Tuesday night's drawing which had a jackpot of US$363 million, sending Friday's drawing to an all time world record high of $500 million.

Players must match all 5 numbers and the Mega Ball in order to win the jackpot. Only 47 tickets with a $250,000 payout were sold, which matched at least five numbers, but not the Mega Ball. Over 2.5 million tickets matched only the Mega Ball for a cash prize of two dollars. The numbers drawn were 9, 19, 34, 44 & 51. The Mega Ball was 24.

The previous U.S. lottery jackpot record was $390 million which was set by Mega Millions in 2007. Two individuals won the jackpot from Georgia and New Jersey. In January 2011, the jackpot rose to $380 million the second largest ever, producing two winners, one in Idaho and the other in Washington. In 2006 Powerball reached $365 million with one winner in Nebraska.

After all taxes are paid on the prize money, Tuesday's Mega Millions jackpot would have been worth just over $180 million. The lottery's last jackpot winner was on January 24 when a College Park, Georgia resident won $72 million. Since then there have been eighteen drawings which produced no jackpot winner.

The next drawing occurs on Friday at 11:00pm (EDT).