Mega Millions Jackpot Hits $230 Million, Next Drawing on Black Friday

Wednesday, 27 Nov 2013 01:19 PM

By Michael Mullins

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The Mega Millions jackpot is now $230 million.

Friday's $230 million drawing — the biggest amount in 20 months — has a cash payout of $125 million before federal and state taxes claim Uncle Sam's share.

The last Mega Millions jackpot winner was a Maryland man who won $189 million in the Oct. 1 drawing. He opted to remain anonymous as is allowed by the state's lottery, having reportedly collected $86 million in the cash payout after federal and state taxes were applied.

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Maryland is one of only a handful of states that allow lottery winners to remain anonymous. Other states include Kansas, Delaware, South Carolina, North Dakota, and Ohio.

In September, a South Carolina man won $400 million Powerball Jackpot and similarly opted to remain anonymous.

One of the reasons no one has won the Mega Millions jackpot since the beginning of October is because the odds have increased since mid-October.

On Oct. 19 the lottery increased its number pool from one through 56 to one through 75. As a result of the change, the odds of winning a Mega Millions jackpot with a single ticket increased from 1 in 176 million to 1 in 259 million, Philly.com noted.

With tougher odds, Mega Millions officials hope to see larger jackpots more frequently, and consequently more interest.

"We can expect to see larger jackpots and greater excitement," Paula Otto, Virginia Lottery Executive Director and lead director of the Mega Millions Consortium said in a Mega Millions press release. "Yet one very important thing won’t change. The price of a Mega Millions ticket will remain one dollar."

"Larger Mega Millions jackpots mean increased profits for the worthy causes supported by U.S. lotteries," Cynthia O’Connell, Florida Lottery Secretary and chair of Marketing and Promotions for Multi-State Lottery Association added. "Every ticket, win or lose, benefits the jurisdiction in which it’s sold."

In contrast, the Powerball jackpot to be drawn Saturday night is $60 million. A winning Powerball jackpot ticket was sold in New York State on Nov. 16. The winner has yet to claim it.

On Tuesday, five tickets were sold in which players matched Mega Millions' first five winning numbers of 27-44-59-74-75, however they failed to match the Mega Ball number of 3. Four of the five winners on Tuesday received $1 million payouts, NJ.com reported, while one player in Texas exercised the Megaplier option by putting an extra dollar toward the bet and in the process being awarded a prize of $5 million.

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