Mega Millions Jackpot Rises To $81 Million, But Ticket Sales Drop Again

The Mega Millions jackpot climbs to $81 million for Friday’s numbers drawing after the April 29 game went without a big winner for the seventh straight time. One ticket, however, matched the first five numbers but not the Mega Ball, which makes one Maryland Mega Millions ticket buyer an instant millionaire.

The drawing came on the same day that, as The Inquisitr reported Tuesday night, the state of Florida saw its first-ever Mega Millions jackpot winners claim their check. Tickets for Mega Millions first went on sale in Florida May 15 of last year, but since then no Florida ticket buyer won the jackpot until Raymond Moyer and Robyn Collier (pictured above), both 35 and residents of Merritt Island, won half of a $414 million jackpot on March 18, on behalf of the Cobie and Seamus Trust.

But even prior to its first jackpot winner, Florida gave away $149 million in total Mega Millions cash prizes to winners of lower-level prizes.

Moyer and Collier claimed their winnings as a single lump-sum payment of $115,448,968 before taxes.

The Florida Lottery Commission also says that it has donated $66 million to the state’s schools in the 11 1/2 months of Mega Millions sales.

But national interest in the Mega Millions lottery remained flat. Ticket sales for Tuesday’s drawing, with its jackpot of $68 million actually dipped slightly from the game held the previous Friday, with its lesser $59 million top prize.

The $59 million Mega Millions jackpot attracted sales of 18,482,340. But the increased $68 million drawing saw sales decrease by over 100,000, down to 18,306,263.

Since that March 18 $414 million jackpot won in part by the Florida players who claimed their prize yesterday — a second winner, in Maryland, has yet to come forward — there have been two more Mega Millions winners. And while the rapid succession of winners seems incredibly lucky, it also keeps jackpot amounts low, because every time a Mega Millions jackpot is won, the top prize reverts to $15 million.

Low jackpots mean low ticket sales. Since the March 18 drawing, which pulled in more that 113 million sales of the $1 Mega Millions tickets, no drawing has attracted more than 18.7 million.

But that doesn’t mean nobody wins. Did you win a smaller prize in Tuesday’s drawing? Check your ticket against these Mega Millions winning numbers drawn at 10:59 pm in Atlanta, Georgia.

743596166 Mega Ball 3

Friday’s Mega Millions jackpot would be worth $45.6 million to a winner who took the single-payment option.