One Mega Millions player in a small California town about an hour outside of Los Angeles won the third-largest jackpot since the multi-state lottery increased its odds last year, matching all six numbers to nail down a potential $180 million payout.
And there was more Mega Millions jackpot news Friday as the June 27 winner a $33 million jackpot finally stepped forward and claimed the cash. Sort of.
That jackpot was won in Texas, and was the last jackpot won before the Mega Millions lottery went on a string of 15 drawings without a big winner to reach the $180 million prize at stake in the Friday, August 22 drawing.
The Texas winner guarded his or her identity closely, which probably accounts for the nearly two-month delay in coming out to claim the prize money. The winner or winners formed a revocable trust and sent the trustee, William J. Rohrbach Jr. of Houston to Texas lottery headquarters in Austin to present the winning ticket and claim the money.
Rohrbach is a corporate attorney in Houston, in all likelihood not the person who actually purchased the ticket. The winning ticket was purchased at a small grocery store in Moulton, about 120 miles from Houston.
The trust chose to take the Mega Millions money as a single payment, so rather than the full $33 million, the payout was $19,241,983 — before taxes.
Whoever bought the winning Mega Millions ticket Friday at this 7-11 store in the small Riverside County town of Calimesa, California, will collect much more than that. If the winner wants the full $180 million, the jackpot will be paid out in 30 annual installments averaging $4.5 million each.
Most winners, however, take the lump sum amount. That would be approximately $107 million for the newest winner — who is the ninth Mega Millions jackpot winner of 2014.
The winner had a lot of competition Friday. The 36,066,782 tickets sold was the highest total since a March 18 Mega Millions drawing with a $400 million jackpot, and was the second-highest sales total for any of the nine jackpot-winning drawings this year.
In addition to the jackpot winner, one Mega Millions player in Pennsylvania matched the first five numbers but not the Mega Ball to win a $1 million second prize.
All told, there was $5,328,013 in non-jackpot cash won in the Friday Mega Millions drawing. Is any of that money yours? Check your August 22 ticket against these numbers, drawn at 10:59 pm in Atlanta, Georgia.
5 — 31 — 34 — 41 — 74 Mega Ball 3
The next Mega Millions drawing is Tuesday, August 26, when the jackpot resets to the minimum $15 million.