Mega Millions Jackpot Up To $30 Million As April Fools Day Produces No Big Winners For Real

The Mega Millions numbers drawn on April Fools Day produced no big winner — and that’s no joke. That means, for real, Friday’s drawing will be worth $30 million to a single jackpot winner who picks the annuity option, which would pay a million bucks per year, on average, for 30 years.

If a Mega Millions jackpot winner Friday selects the single-payment option, that payout will be worth $16.6 million. After your friendly federal government takes its piece of the pie — because the government wins the lottery every week — a Friday jackpot winner will have $12.45 million left to fool around with.

But it’s not as if nobody won a prize in Tuesday’s Mega Million drawing. In fact, $4,995,233 was given away nationwide, on 1,203,169 tickets out of the 17,503,302 total tickets sold. In other words, about seven percent of all tickets sold yielded some kind of payoff — at least $1.

There were three tickets that hit the “Match Five,” which as the name implies, means matching the first five numbers but not the Mega Ball. Those three Mega Millions tickets — one each sold in Michigan, New Hampshire and North Carolina — turn their holders into overnight millionaires. Before taxes of course.

Do you hold one of those nearly 5 million winning tickets? Check your ticket against these numbers, drawn at 10:59 pm Tuesday in Atlanta, Georgia:

1023687475 Mega Ball 9

Let’s repeat that last line. Check your tickets.

It is, unbelievably, not unusual for players of Mega Millions and all lottery games to simply let their tickets go unchecked. As we told you in an earlier story, about $800 million in lottery winnings go unclaimed every year.

In fact, this week in New Jersey, someone’s $250,000 Mega Millions ticket is about to expire. Late last year, the Match Five prize was upped to $1 million. But a year ago it was still $250,000.

Someone bought a ticket on April 4, 2013, at Crystal’s Deli in Parlin, New Jersey. That lucky ticket matched the first five Mega Millions numbers for the $250,000 prize. But whoever bought that ticket still has not turned it in and if he or she doesn’t so do by April 5 — this Saturday — that cool quarter-million goes into New Jersey state coffers.