The Mega Millions jackpot bounced upward to $48 million after Friday's drawing after no one matched all six numbers, the fourth drawing in a row with no winner after an odds-defying hot streak saw three jackpots hit in just three weeks.
The most recent of those three winners showed up to collect his cash this week. Leopoldo Choi paid a visit to the Van Nuys office of the California State Lottery on Monday, bearing the Mega Millions ticket he purchased just 10 days earlier at a 76 gas station on Santa Monica Boulevard in the upscale Century City district of Los Angeles, an area that is home to cluster of expensive office towers filled with Hollywood law firms and talent agencies.
Century City was made famous when one of its buildings, the 35-story Fox Plaza, was used as the fictional "Nakatomi Plaza" that was taken over by terrorists in the 1988 Bruce Willis action movie classic Die Hard.
But Choi will be living easy now that he turned in his $30 million Mega Millions ticket from April 4, choosing the single-payment "cash value" option to receive one check for $16.6 million.
Choi chose to keep a low profile. While Mega Millions winners are legally required to put their names on the public record, most pose for photos with oversize replica checks and give interviews revealing how they plan to use the winnings.
Choi did none of that, just taking his $16.6 million and beating a hasty retreat.
The gas station that sold him the ticket also wins, receiving a check for $150,000, or 0.5 percent of the total Mega Millions jackpot.
After a dip on Tuesday, Mega Millions ticket sales rebounded for Friday's drawing. About 17.3 million were sold for that Mega Millions game, up by almost a million over Tuesday's sales.
There was no second-prize winner on Friday, and only 18 winners of the $5,000 third prize, which requires matching four of the first five Mega Millions numbers plus the Mega Ball. The odds of hitting a "4+1" winner are one in 739,688.
There were 1,187,621 winning tickets sold overall, just under seven percent of all the tickets sold. Was yours one of them. Check your Mega Millions numbers against the numbers below, drawn at 10:59 pm in Atlanta, Georgia:
8 — 25 — 38 — 45 — 63 Mega Ball 9
Tuesday's $48 million Mega Millions jackpot is worth $27 million if a winner chooses the "cash value" option. Federal taxes are expected to take another $6.75 million bite.