When you think of America’s Sweetheart, Drew or Julia may come to mind, but Mega Millions has been captivating Americans since 1996. Active in 44 states, Mega Millions operates two draws a week and has paid out ten jackpots in the last 18 months, and the same amount of second-tier prizes ($1 to $5 million) in 2018 alone. Need even more reasons to get excited about Mega Millions? Read on.

“Big” Money Is Good, But “Mega” is Better

Big Money is Good, But Mega is Better

Mega Millions, when first introduced on September 6, 1996, was originally called The Big Game. It wasn’t until 2002 that it was renamed and relaunched as The Big Game Mega Millions. That year, there were nine Mega Millions jackpots won, including the very first draw! Since 1996, the number of participating states has rocketed from six to forty-four, and there have been 175 jackpot-winning draws.

Mega Millionaire

Mega Millions Millionaire

We all want to know about the big money, and who’s winning it. The largest Mega Millions prize won in the game’s history is an impressive $656 million, split between winners in Kansas, Maryland, and Illinois. The jackpot also ranked as the third largest lottery prize in U.S. history! California and New York have also tasted success, bragging the highest number of winners by state.

Dream Maker, Record Breaker

The March 6, 2007 drawing, worth $390,000,000, broke records with its ticket sales. A record-setting 200 million tickets were sold, which is more than half of the U.S. population and the amount of the prize itself!

These Numbers are Hot!

These Mega Millions Numbers are Hot!

Looking for your next lucky number? 29, 42, 10, and 16 have been chosen the most times in the last 100 Mega Millions draws. As always, the Lottery.com app lets you choose your favorite numbers although, statistically, tickets with numbers automatically chosen have the highest win rate.

Do you have a great Mega Millions story or just want to connect? Follow us on Twitter @lotterydotcom, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

#wintogether

Lottery News

Playing the lottery is downright exciting. The dream of becoming an overnight millionaire, the thrill of the chase, and the possibility of changing one’s life with the purchase of a $2 ticket is not only fun, it’s enough to motivate half of the U.S. adult population to play the lottery at least once a year. In addition to the inherent excitement, there are typically a few lottery success stories a year that are impressive enough to pique the interest of even the biggest lottery naysayer. We’ve rounded up a collection of a few of the lottery’s most newsworthy moments. Enjoy!

1. The Largest Jackpot Won On A Single Ticket

Image courtesy of The Guardian

If you play the lottery, chances are good you heard about this recent lottery win! Mavis Wanczyk was a clerical worker in the nursing department of a Massachusetts hospital who made waves in the press with her huge win. Not only is her prize the largest jackpot won by a single player, it remains the second largest U.S. lottery prize! After realizing she’d won, she promptly called her job to tell them she would not be coming back. Wanczyk opted to take the lump sum payment of $480 million, before taxes, making her richer than Beyonce.

2. New Hampshire Woman Goes To Court – And Earns The Right – To Maintain Her Anonymity

A New Hampshire woman, now nicknamed “Jane Dough,” sued for her right to anonymity after winning the lottery and signing her name on the back of the winning ticket. According to standard Right to Know laws, the front and back of winning lottery tickets are considered public documents in order to ensure transparency and authenticity in the lottery process. The winner went to court to defend her identity in an effort to maintain her safety and a normal lifestyle. In his ruling, Judge Charles Temple stated, “The Court has no doubts whatsoever that should Ms. Doe’s identity be revealed, she will be subject to an alarming amount of harassment, solicitation and unwanted communications.” To prove that she was a “bona fide lottery participant” and “real winner,” the judge resolved to reveal the winner’s hometown of Merrimack, New Hampshire, access to the front of the ticket displaying the winning numbers, the date of any claim, and the total prize amount.

3. Coworkers In Las Vegas Finally Win It Big

Image courtesy of Fox 5

It’s common for coworkers to form an office lottery pool and, if you weren’t a believer in lottery pools before, this should change your mind. A group of 22 coworkers from the Las Vegas Paving Corporation landed a $2 million payday after years of playing together on a monthly basis. After taxes, each player walked away with $68,000. The group doesn’t think their luck has dried up yet – they plan to continue playing with the hope of winning again. We love to see people #wintogether!

4. The Couple Who Donated Nearly All Of Their Winnings

Allen and Violet Large, a Canadian couple, truly won large in 2010 – and then gave almost all of it away. The couple, already in their 70s at the time of winning, proved how much good is still in the world. They determined that others needed the money more than they did and so, after ensuring that their family was financially squared away, gave almost all of their $11.2 million prize money away to hospitals and charitable organizations.

5. The $1.6 Billion Powerball Jackpot

Ladies and gentlemen, we present to you the largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history! The record-shattering January 13, 2016 jackpot was split between three winning tickets: Maureen Smith of Florida, John and Lisa Robinson of Tennessee, and Mae and Marvin Acosta of California. Maureen Smith and the Robinsons chose to go public with their story, while the Acostas declined speaking to the press and spent six quiet months putting together a team of advisers before collecting their money. Each winning ticket earned an impressive $528.8 million for the respective owners.