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One winning ticket sold for $1.05bn Mega Millions lottery jackpot

A customer fills out a Mega Millions lottery ticket at a convenience store in Northbrook, Illinois. Photograph: Nam Y Huh/AP

A customer fills out a Mega Millions lottery ticket at a convenience store in Northbrook, Illinois. Photograph: Nam Y Huh/AP

First published on Sat 23 Jan 2021 12.42 GMT

One winning ticket was sold in Michigan for the $1.05bn Mega Millions jackpot, the third-largest lottery prize in US history.

The winning numbers drawn on Friday were 4, 26, 42, 50, 60 and a Mega Ball of 24. The winning ticket was purchased at a Kroger store in the Detroit suburb of Novi, the Michigan Lottery said.

“Someone in Michigan woke up to life-changing news this morning, and Kroger Michigan congratulates the newest Michigan multimillionaire,” said Rachel Hurst, a regional spokeswoman for the grocery chain. She declined to comment further.

The top prize had been growing since 15 September, when a winning ticket was sold in Wisconsin. The lottery’s next estimated jackpot is $20m.

Friday night’s draw came two days after a ticket sold in Maryland won a $731.1m Powerball jackpot.

Only two lottery prizes in the US have been larger than Friday’s jackpot. Three tickets for a $1.586bn Powerball jackpot were sold in January 2016, and one winning ticket sold for a $1.537bn Mega Millions jackpot in October 2018.

The jackpot figures refer to amounts if a winner opts for an annuity, paid in 30 yearly installments. Most winners choose a cash prize, which for the Mega Millions game would be $776.6m before taxes and $557m after taxes, Michigan Lottery spokesman Jake Harris said.

“No way!” shopper Ryan Gabrielli told the Detroit News at the lucky Kroger. “We meant to play the lottery but forgot to.”

Harris said the ticket holder should sign the back and keep it in a safe place.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if the winning ticket holder held on to that ticket for a little bit, got their affairs in order, put together a financial plan and then reached out to contact us,” he said.

In Grosse Ile, a suburb south of Detroit, 126 people bought more than 600 tickets for the Friday draw but didn’t win the jackpot.

They hoped to win enough money to replace a publicly owned bridge on their island in the Detroit river that has been closed indefinitely for major repairs. The only other transportation option for the island’s 10,000 residents is a privately owned toll bridge.

“We used this to lift our spirits and dream a little bit,” said organizer Kyle de Beausset. “Of course we’re open to any help with the bridge, but I can’t imagine the winner would want to finance it.”

The odds of winning a Mega Millions jackpot are incredibly steep: one in 302.5m. The game is played in 45 states as well as Washington DC and the US Virgin Islands.

Third-largest prize in US history, growing since September, awaits Michigan winner

10 quick facts about the $1 billion winning Mega Millions ticket sold in Michigan

The Kroger located at 47650 Grand River Avenue in Novi. A $1 billion winning Mega Millions ticket was sold at the store for the drawing held on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Ed Pevos | MLive.com)

LANSING, MI — We don’t know who won it, when they’ll claim it and what they’ll do with the money, but we know a lucky player in Michigan bought the $1.05 billion winning Mega Millions ticket for the drawing held on Friday, Jan. 22.

The incredible jackpot win shocked players all over the state and even the people who work for the lottery. Jake Harris, of the Michigan Lottery’s public relations team, said the staff is truly happy for the winner and glad someone in Michigan will benefit from the big win.

“Everyone at the lottery is excited. When you get to a jackpot roll where you’re talking about billions of dollars, that’s uncharted territory,” Harris said.

Here’s the exact location the winning ticket was sold. The Kroger at Grand River and Beck in Novi.

While we’re still waiting to learn more about who won the lottery jackpot, here are 10 quick facts about the drawing and just how substantial of a win it is for the lucky player.

It’s the largest prize ever won in Michigan

It should come as no surprise that a lone ticket winning an estimated $1 billion jackpot is the largest prize ever won in Michigan. The $1 billion jackpot marked only the third time a jackpot in the U.S. was worth that much and was in fact the third-largest prize ever in the U.S.

The win is the second-largest won by one ticket

While it is the third-largest jackpot won, it’s the second-largest ever won by a lone ticket. In the past, several large jackpots have been split between multiple winners. That includes the record $1.586 billion Powerball jackpot won in 2016 that was split by players in California, Florida and Tennessee.

The cash option alone was an incredible prize

The jackpot was so large that the cash option of $776.6 million alone is worth more than any lottery jackpot ever won in the country, aside from the $1 billion winners. The $776.6 million cash option was even larger than the full Powerball jackpot of $731 million that was won just last week.

The $1 billion jackpot win nearly tripled the previous record for a Michigan player

Prior to this win, the state record for a jackpot winner was $337 million, won by Donald Lawson of Lapeer in 2012. While that is an impressive win in its own right, Friday’s win nearly triples that jackpot.

The winner’s identity is required to be public record in Michigan

Jake Harris of the Michigan Lottery told MLive the winner’s identity will have to be public record. However, that player has one full year to decide when they want to come forward and how they want to claim the prize. While some states allow players to remain anonymous or claim the prize behind a trust, Harris clarified that is not allowed in Michigan.

The win is the third jackpot winner in the last 15 months, and the fourth since 2017

Friday’s big win marks the third time in the last 15 months a player from Michigan has won either the Mega Millions or Powerball jackpots and the fourth time since 2017. In February 2020, Cristy Davis of Waterford won a $70 million Powerball jackpot. In October 2019, Phillip Chippewa of Suttons Bay claimed an $80 million Powerball win. And in October 2017, Jeff Blake of Waterford split a $42 million Mega Millions jackpot with a player in Rhode Island.

The store that sold the winning ticket will receive a $50,000 bonus commission

As a bonus for selling the grand prize winner, the Kroger store in Novi will receive a $50,000 commission. That store will receive that money once the player comes forward to claim the prize.

The player will receive $530 million after taxes if they elect to take the cash option

The winner will have to decide how they want to receive the money. Either as an annuity over the course of 30 years or in a lump sum. Should the player elect to take the lump sum cash option, they will receive $530 million after taxes are taken out.

Prior to Friday’s win, no one had won the jackpot in 36 rolls, the most consecutive drawings without a winner ever

Never before in the history of the Mega Millions game had there been this many consecutive rolls before there was a jackpot winner. During the run of 36 rolls between jackpot winners, 70 players nationwide won at least $1 million. Another 1,144 won at least $10,000 and there were 42.8 million winning tickets sold.

The last jackpot winner won their prize on Sept. 15 in Wisconsin.

The winner could support a lot of people for the entire year

According to the Census, the median income for an individual in Novi is slightly more than $50,000. That means with $1 billion, the winner could cover the median wages for 20,000 people in Novi for an entire year.

For the latest on Michigan Lottery, check out the official Michigan Lottery site, which also offers more information on instant tickets, raffles and other lottery games.

The last player from Michigan to win a Mega Millions or Powerball jackpot was Cristy Davis of Waterford who won $70 million playing Powerball in February. With her winnings, Davis said she planned to buy a new house and car.

And while she was a lucky winner, it’s smart for players to check their tickets immediately as a winner worth $1 million sold in Hartland in 2019 went unclaimed. The ticket was purchased at the Speedway in Hartland, but the winner never came forward to claim the prize. The money instead went to the state’s School Aid Fund.

If you’d like to be the next player from Michigan to win a huge lottery prize, take a look at these tips from lottery expert Richard Lustig. The author of “Learn How To Increase Your Chances Of Winning The Lottery” has won more than $1 million in Florida by winning top jackpot prizes in smaller games.

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