Mega Millions Jackpot Hits For 3rd Time This Year, $20 Million Ticket Sold

Mega Millions has another jackpot winner, two drawings after giving away the seventh largest prize in the history of American lottery games. This time, the jackpot was nowhere near the $414 million from last Tuesday. But the one fortunate New York Mega Millions player who matched all six numbers will likely be just as happy to take home the $20 million payout.

This was the third time in 2014 that Mega Millions has produced a jackpot winner. On January 3, the first Mega Millions drawing of 2014, one winner in Tennessee hit a $61 million jackpot. Then more than three months passed before anyone else got lucky, and the jackpot built to $414 million — which last week was split between two tickets in Florida and Maryland.

Now, after just one miss, the Mega Millions jackpot has a winner yet again. That means Friday’s top prize resets back to the minimum $15 million.

With just 17,514,837 tickets sold, actually down by about a half-million from Saturday’s $15 million drawing despite the somewhat higher jackpot, Mega Millions had an otherwise slow night. No one won the “Match 5” second prize, and just 16 tickets were good for the much smaller third prize of $5,000 — $4,401 in California — which is won by matching four of the first five numbers plus the Mega Ball number.

In total, 1,218,365 tickets were good for at least a small prize — the minimum is $1, basically a free play in the next Mega Millions drawing. See if yours was one of them. Check your ticket against these numbers, drawn last night at 10:59 pm Eastern Time in Atlanta, Georgia:

1926515773 Mega Ball 15

Last night’s jackpot winner will collect $11.1 million if she or he takes the single-payment “cash option.” Though as always, taxes take a pretty big bite out of that — especially in New York which, at 8.82 percent, has the highest state tax on lottery winnings in the nation. So whoever bought last night’s jackpot winner will actually end up with $7,345,980 to fool around with, just 37 percent of the advertised $20 million Mega Millions jackpot, by the calculations of the lottery-watchers at USAMega.com

If last night’s Mega Millions winner picks the annuity option, the jackpot will be paid out in 30 annual checks averaging less than a half-million each, after state and federal taxes — $441,200 to be exact — for a total of $13.8 million.

Neither winner of last week’s split $414 million Mega Millions jackpot has come forward to claim the cash yet.

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