The Mega Millions jackpot restarted at its minimum $15 million level in Friday night’s drawing, but no one matched all six numbers, starting the nationwide lottery game on another slow climb. Mega Millions went 12 drawings without a winner before one player in Pennsylvania hit all six numbers on the lucky 13th, on May 20.
One ticket made an overnight millionaire out of a single Mega Millions player in Florida, who matched the first five numbers but not the Mega Ball for the game’s second prize.
Ticket sales for the $15 million drawing Friday night were up by a fraction from the last time the Mega Millions jackpot was at that minimum figure. The 16,349,470 tickets sold for Friday’s drawing barely topped the 16,231,619 sold for an April 8 $15 million jackpot, but were more than a million fewer that the previous $15 million drawing on March 28 which sold 17,487,595.
Friday’s Mega Millions drawing also saw 20 tickets hit four of the first five numbers plus the Mega Ball, for a third prize worth $5,000 — except in California. While that state’s unique pari-mutuel payout system often results in lesser cash prizes than in other states, the lone third-prize winner on Friday was in luck this time.
That Mega Millions ticket buyer will collect $15,876 before taxes for the “4+1” ticket.
Tuesday’s Mega Millions drawing with its $20 million annuity jackpot would pay a winner who chooses to take the full amount over 30 years in annual payments. The first check would be for $301,029 before taxes, with increasing totals every year.
In the year 2033, a Mega Millions player who wins Tuesday’s jackpot would receive a final check for $1,239,075.
But most Mega Millions winners choose to receive their winnings in one single immediate payment, a “cash value” that is always less than the full annuity value. That’s because lottery jackpots are financed by bonds, which do not mature for a number of years. The cash value of the bond at the present time is the amount paid out to Mega Millions winners who want it all right now.
The cash value of Tuesday’s Mega Millions jackpot is $11 million.
All told, 1,142,344 Mega Millions tickets were worth at least the $1 minimum cash prize Friday. Was yours one of them? Check your ticket against the following numbers, drawn Friday at 10:59 pm in Atlanta, Georgia.
12 — 14 — 21 — 38 — 70 Mega Ball 15
The winning Mega Millions ticket for last Tuesday’s drawing was the fifth jackpot winner of 2014 already.