NATIONAL NEWS

Handpicked numbers were the golden ticket to the $1.13B Mega Millions jackpot in New Jersey

Mar 26, 2024, 9:22 AM | Updated: Mar 27, 2024, 12:38 pm

NEPTUNE, N.J. (AP) — Someone in New Jersey who bought a single ticket overcame the odds Tuesday night and won the $1.13 billion Mega Millions jackpot, breaking a winless streak that dated to last December.

The numbers drawn were: 7, 11, 22, 29, 38 and the gold Mega Ball 4. State lottery officials said the winning ticket was sold at ShopRite Wines & Spirits of Neptune, which is located on the Jersey Shore. It was the biggest jackpot win in state history, according to New Jersey Lottery officials.

The person holding the winning ticket has not yet come forward to claim the prize, lottery officials said during a news conference Wednesday. Lottery winners can remain anonymous in New Jersey, under a law signed by Gov. Phil Murphy in 2020. New Jersey is one of 18 states where lottery winners can remain anonymous.

The winning ticket was bought Tuesday night by someone who chose the numbers themselves instead of using the system’s Quick Pick option, lottery officials said.

The retailer will receive a $30,000 bonus from the lottery for selling the ticket.

Richard Saker, the president and chief executive officer of Saker ShopRites, which operates the store, said the bonus money would be donated to Fulfill, a community food bank that serves the Jersey Shore, through ShopRite’s Partners in Caring program.

Until the latest drawing, no one had matched all six numbers and won the Mega Millions jackpot since Dec. 8. That amounted to 30 straight drawings without a big winner.

It’s tough to win the Mega Millions jackpot because the odds are so long, at 1 in 302.6 million.

The prize is the 8th largest in U.S. lottery history.

The $1.13 billion jackpot is for a winner who is paid through an annuity, with an initial payment and then 29 annual payments. Most winners choose a cash payout, which would be $537.5 million.

The next big U.S. lottery drawing will be Wednesday night for an estimated $865 million Powerball jackpot. No one has won that prize since New Year’s Day, making for 36 drawings without a winner.

Mega Millions is played in 45 states plus Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Powerball also is played in those states as well as Washington, D.C., the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

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Handpicked numbers were the golden ticket to the $1.13B Mega Millions jackpot in New Jersey