The Mega Millions jackpot is halfway toward another nine-figure payout, after no ticket matched all six numbers in Friday's drawing, meaning the Tuesday Mega Millions game will carry a top prize of $55 million.
Earlier in May, for a brief span of one week, both the Mega Millions and Powerball nationwide lotteries offered nine-figure jackpots, the first time since February that both games saw jackpots over $100 million. But on May 20, someone hit all six Mega Millions numbers to win a $149 million jackpot and start the game over again at $15 million.
But after six drawings with no jackpot winner, Mega Millions could again be headed toward that rarefied nine-figure territory. Meanwhile, Saturday night's Powerball jackpot is worth $221 million.
The $149 million Mega Millions winner was the first ever from Pennsylvania, but even after almost three weeks, lottery officials sill don't know who actually won the prize. The winning ticket was sold at White Oak Gas & Grocery, 1100 Fawcett Ave., McKeesport, Allegheny County. But whoever bought that ticket has yet to step into the light and claim the prize. The lucky gas station receives a $100,000 bonus from the lottery, as a reward for selling the Mega Millions winning ticket.
If the winner takes the jackpot as one one cash payment, the check will be worth $86.1 million, before Uncle Sam claims his cut.
Pennsylvania did not join the Mega Millions lottery until 2010, but the state has been playing Powerball since 2002 and has seen 17 jackpot winners in that time. But none in the Mega Millions game until May 20.
If you are that lucky Pennsylvanian, the lottery commission has the following advice:
"The prize must be claimed and the ticket validated before Lottery officials can identify the winner. Pennsylvania Lottery Mega Millions winners have one year from the drawing date to claim prizes. The Lottery encourages the holder of the winning ticket to sign the back of the ticket, call the Lottery at 717-702-8146 and file a claim at Lottery headquarters in Middletown, Dauphin County. Claims may be filed at Lottery headquarters Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m."
Friday's Mega Millions drawing saw two second-prize winners, each now $1 million richer thanks to matching the first five numbers but not the Mega Ball. One of those two new millionaires bought the lucky ticket in Pennsylvania. The other, in Georgia.
Were you a winner in Friday's Mega Millions drawing? Check your ticket against the following numbers, drawn at 10:59 pm in Atlanta, Georgia:
12 — 29 — 37 — 49 — 72 Mega Ball 9
Tuesday's $55 million Mega Millions jackpot will be worth $31 million to a winner who takes the prize as a single payment.