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$1B Mega Millions Jackpot Lures Southlanders

The Southland has a history of lottery curses and dreams come true.

    Paige Austin , Patch Staff

LOS ANGELES — The lure of a $1 billion jackpot has Southlanders flocking to the market for Mega Millions lottery tickets and a chance at the second-largest jackpot in U.S. history.

The only number more staggering than the estimated jackpot is the odds of winning: less than 1 in 302,575,350.

Though the odds are slim, it’s been done before in Los Angeles County. A winning ticket for the largest jackpot ever — $1.59 billion in January 2016 — was purchased at a 7-Eleven in Chino Hills. But that doesn’t mean the odds of winning in Chino Hills are any better than anywhere else.

Buying tickets at a store where winning tickets have been sold in the past will not increase a purchaser’s chance of winning a jackpot, according to University of Southern California mathematics Professor Ken Alexander.

“The chance that a given place will sell a winning lottery ticket is just related to how many tickets they sell,” Alexander said.

Los Angeles is also home to one of the unluckiest lottery players ever: the sad soul who won a $63 million jackpot in Chatsworth in 2015 but failed to come forward in time to collect his or her winnings. Winners have just 180 days to collect the prize.

The jackpot winner with the saddest story may be a Ventura County security guard who blew through his $19 million jackpot and turned to robbing banks across Southern California to maintain his easy-money lifestyle.

SEE ALSO:

  • Lottery Winner Becomes Record-Setting Loser
  • Meet The Valley Man Who Keeps Winning The Lottery
  • Excuse Me, Did You Leave $63 Million on the Table in Chatsworth?
  • How A Lottery Jackpot Winner Became A Bank Robber
  • ‘It’s The Lottery Curse,’ Says Jackpot Winner Turned Bank Robber

The latest jackpot grew large because no tickets matching all six numbers have been sold for 36 consecutive drawings, the longest streak without a jackpot winner in the game’s history. Sept. 15 was the last time a Mega Millions jackpot was won. (One ticket with five of six winning numbers was sold in Artesia this week, netting the lucky winner more than $1 million.)

The only larger jackpots were a $1.59 billion Powerball jackpot on Jan. 13, 2016, and a $1.54 billion Mega Millions jackpot on Oct. 23, 2018. Since the game began in 2002, there have been 192 jackpots won by 217 individual tickets. There have been 20 jackpots shared by two or more winning tickets.

If a ticket with all six numbers is sold, the winner will have the option of receiving the $1 billion jackpot in 30 annual payments — with each payment 5 percent larger than the previous one — or as a single lump-sum payment equal to all the cash in the Mega Millions jackpot prize pool, which is $716.3 million for Friday’s drawing.

The overall chance of winning any prize is 1 in 24. Ticket sales close at 7:45 p.m. The drawing is scheduled to be held at 8 p.m.

City News Service contributed to this report.

$1B Mega Millions Jackpot Lures Southlanders – Los Angeles, CA – The Southland has a history of lottery curses and dreams come true.

Updated: Winning Ticket for $1 Billion Mega Millions Jackpot Sold in Michigan

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF/AP) — One winning ticket has been sold in the $1 billion Mega Millions jackpot.

The top prize drawn on Friday is the third-largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history. The winning numbers are: 4, 26, 42, 50, 60 and a Mega Ball of 24. The winning ticket was sold in Michigan at a Kroger store in Novi.

There were 26 tickets sold in California that matched 4 numbers and the Mega Number. Those tickets were worth $11,036 a piece.

The Mega Millions jackpot had been growing since Sept. 15, when a winning ticket was sold in Wisconsin.

Mega Millions numbers Jan. 22, 2021

The California Lottery Twitter account posted Friday morning that the jackpot had hit the $1 billion mark.

The #MegaMillions jackpot is now $1 Billion, yes we said BILLION. Do you have your ticket yet? Tickets should be purchased during essential shopping trips only. #PlayForMillions #PlayItSafe #CALottery pic.twitter.com/NhNdvrTeLO

With the rush of people buying last-minute tickets Friday, the final Mega Millions prize could rise even higher. The drawing will be held at 8 p.m. PST Friday night.

The prize has gotten so big that it has outgrown the digital lottery display signs that can only show a jackpot up to $999 million.

A steady stream of lottery hopefuls were buying tickets Friday afternoon at a gas station in Hercules. Everyone has a dream. One man said he’d help the Richmond Snoop Dogg Youth Football League. Another player named Rosa said she was feeling lucky on her birthday.

When asked how many ticket she bought, Rosa replied, “Just one. You only need one to win right?”

Lottery spokesperson Jorge De La Cruz said via Zoom he was looking forward to a historic night.

“If the jackpot is hit, it will be the third largest in U.S. history,” said De La Cruz.

Two weeks ago, a Mega Millions lottery ticket was purchased at a gas station in Brentwood that was worth more than $2.3 million, California Lottery officials said.

While the massive Powerball prize worth an estimated $731.1 million was won by a single lucky ticket purchaser in Maryland earlier this week, players in the Bay Area still have a chance to cash in with the Mega Millions game.

That winning Powerball ticket was old in Allegany County, located in northwestern Maryland, but additional details weren’t immediately available, the Maryland Lottery said in a statement. Just who gets these riches may never be known: In Maryland, winners have the right to remain anonymous.

The Powerball jackpot was the fifth-largest U.S. lottery jackpot ever. Winning numbers for Wednesday night’s Powerball drawing were: 40-53-60-68-69 and a Powerball of 22.

This week marked the first time both lottery jackpots topped $700 million. The biggest prize for either game was a $1.58 billion Powerball jackpot won by three people in 2016.

No one had won either of the jackpots since mid-September, allowing the prizes to grow steadily for months. Such a long stretch without a winner is rare, but also reflects the incredibly small odds of winning — 1 in 292.2 million for Powerball and 1 in 302.5 million for Mega Millions.

Mega Millions and Powerball are both played in 45 states as well as Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press and KPIX 5’s Don Ford contributed to this report

One winning ticket has been sold Michigan for the $1 billion Mega Millions jackpot. ]]>