Mega Millions jackpot exceeds $1.6 billion – no winner in Friday’s drawing

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Keith Ray, manager of the Hanover Street Shell gas station convenience store, swapping out the Mega Millions jackpot signs… again. Photo/Carol Robidoux

UPDATE, Oct. 20: No winner yet declared in the Oct. 19 Mega Millions jackpot drawing which means you still have a chance. The Mega Millions jackpot is now over $1.6 billion dollars, with a payout of $904 million – and you can expect that to grow before the next drawing on Oct. 23.

Winning Mega Millions numbers from the Oct. 19 drawing.

MANCHESTER, NH – It’s busy enough on a Friday at the Hanover Street Shell station. But today, it’s all convenience store manager Keith Ray can do to keep up with the signage.

“Mega Millions just hit 1.1 billion,” he says, carrying a green sign out to the front counter, where he will swap it out for the third time today as the jackpot continues to climb.

“An hour ago it was $970 million, and it went up 31 million in four hours,” says Ray, grinning widely because, well, it’s a billion-dollar lottery jackpot.

Based on the foot-traffic into his store and the rate of ticket sales – scratch ticket sales have doubles and lottery tickets have tripled since the last Mega Millions drawing – Ray anticipates the final jackpot to increase by at least $50 million more.

“I’m gonna have a second person working tonight because of the number of people coming in – it’s too much for one person,” Ray says.

Mega Millions trivia

The odds of winning are currently about 1 in 258,890,850. But don’t let that stop you from trying.

According to the official Mega Millions site, it doesn’t appear that anyone from New Hampshire has won the big prize – you can double-check the list here of all-time winners. That should up our statistical chances of seeing a winner.

  • There was a jackpot winner in the very first Mega Millions drawing. The drawing on May 17, 2002 resulted in a $28 million winning ticket in Illinois. There was a second jackpot winner just one week later – which means there were two jackpot winners within the first three Mega Millions drawings.
  • Since the game began in 2002, there have been 179 jackpots won by 203 individual tickets (20 jackpots have been shared by two or more winning tickets).
  • Mega Millions has awarded 15 jackpots of more than $300 million, including a record $656 million on March 30, 2012, which was the world’s largest lotto jackpot until January 2016.
  • The largest Mega Millions prize won on a single ticket is $543 million, won in California on July 24, 2018. Close behind are a $536 million ticket sold in Indiana on July 8, 2016, and $533 million won in New Jersey on March 30, 2018.
  • Six Mega Millions jackpots have been won on a Friday the 13th. Michigan has been especially lucky on that special day, with four winning jackpots (June 2008, May 2011, June 2014, and one shared with Rhode Island in October 2017). A Friday the 13th jackpot was also won in New York in March 2009 and in Ohio in November 2015.

Jackpots have been won in…

  • All of the original participating states have had Mega Millions jackpot winners. Beginning in January 2010, the game was expanded to all American lotteries including the Virgin Islands. Since that time, jackpots have been won in 22 different jurisdictions: Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
  • Four jackpots have been won to date in 2018. A Florida player won a $451 million prize on January 5, a $533 million jackpot was won in New Jersey on March 30, a $142 million prize was won in Ohio on May 4 and $543 million was won in California on July 24. The latter is the third largest prize in Mega Millions history.
  • In 2017, six jackpots were won: two in California ($191 million on January 27 and $61 million on April 28), one in Arkansas ($177 million on March 31), one in Illinois ($393 million on August 11), one in New York ($105 million on September 22) and a $42 million prize on October 13 shared by tickets sold in Michigan and Rhode Island (that state’s very first Mega Millions jackpot winner!)

See a complete list of jackpot winners since the game began in 2002.

Second prizes up to $5 million!

  • Mega Millions is the only big jackpot game where second prizes can be as high as $5 million if the player has purchased the optional Megaplier (a $1 additional purchase available in most states). That prize level was established when the game’s matrix changed on October 19, 2013. Since that date, there have been 720 Match 5 winning tickets worth $1 million or more, and they have been won in almost every jurisdiction in which the game is sold.
  • Not surprisingly, larger states such as California and New York have had the most Match 5 winning tickets, but million-dollar prizes have also been won in many jurisdictions with the smallest American lotteries, such as Delaware, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming and the District of Columbia.
  • Ninety-three Match 5 winning tickets have been worth more than $1 million because they included the optional Megaplier. Thirty were worth $5 million, 20 were worth $4 million, 21 were worth $3 million and 22 were worth $2 million.
  • Texas has been the luckiest big-money Megaplier state, with 18 winning tickets sold valued at $2 million to $5 million. Florida is next with 12 Megaplied Match 5 winning tickets sold.
  • Mega Millions has provided two small American jurisdictions with the biggest lottery prizes in their history thanks to Match 5 with Megaplier prizes – North Dakota had a $3 million winner in May 2016 and Wyoming had a $5 million winner in March 2016.
About Carol Robidoux 6207 Articles
Longtime NH journalist and publisher of Loves R&B, German beer, and the Queen City!