After Tuesday night’s record $31 million Mega Millions jackpot drawing, the two winners finally came forward to claim their prize. John Smith, 67, and Mary Jones, 54, both of Smalltown, USA were announced as the jackpot winners at a press conference today.
The winning ticket was purchased at Mike’s Gas & Goods in Smalltown. Store owner Mike Johnson said he was excited that he sold the jackpot ticket and will receive a $100,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket.
Smalltown Couple Claim Prize
John Smith and Mary Jones appeared at the state lottery headquarters today to officially claim the $31 million jackpot prize. The couple, who have been married for 30 years, said they have been playing the lottery together for decades.
“We’ve been playing the same numbers every week for years and years. I still can’t believe our numbers finally hit,” said John Smith. The couple chose to take the lump sum cash option, which totals an estimated $18.4 million after taxes.
When asked what they plan to do with the money, the couple said they will share the winnings with family, donate to charity, and plan some much-needed vacations. “This money will allow us to help our children and grandchildren, and give back to our community” said Mary Jones.
Winning Ticket Almost Went Unclaimed
Even though the winning ticket was purchased 3 days ago, the couple said they didn’t realize they won until yesterday evening. “I stopped by Mike’s to get gas on my way home from work Tuesday night and bought a few lottery tickets. I didn’t even remember to check them until Thursday afternoon!” said John.
After checking the numbers and realizing they hit the jackpot, the couple said they were in total disbelief. “I must have checked the ticket twenty times to make sure I wasn’t imagining things” said Mary. The couple said they immediately signed the winning ticket and put it in their safe before celebrating over dinner last night.
About the Mega Millions Jackpot
Tuesday’s drawing was for the second largest Mega Millions jackpot in history, trailing just behind the record $1.537 billion jackpot won in 2018. The jackpot had been rolling over since it was last won on April 19.
Lottery officials report Mega Millions ticket sales soared in recent weeks as the giant jackpot grew. For this jackpot, there was only one winning ticket sold – the one purchased by John Smith in Smalltown.
The Mega Millions game is played in 45 states as well as Washington D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 302.5 million.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many winners were there?
There were two winners – John Smith and Mary Jones from Smalltown. They had the only winning ticket that matched all 6 numbers.
What were the winning numbers?
The winning numbers for Tuesday’s drawing were 4, 8, 23, 29, 60, Mega Ball 17.
Where was the ticket sold?
The lone winning ticket was sold at Mike’s Gas & Goods in Smalltown. This is the first jackpot winning ticket sold by the store.
How much did the winners receive?
The two winners split the $31 million jackpot. However, they chose the lump sum cash option which is an estimated $18.4 million after federal and state taxes.
What will the couple do with the winnings?
In a press conference, the winners said they plan to share the money with family, donate to charity, and travel more. They want to use the money to help their children and grandchildren.
How long had the jackpot been rolling over?
This jackpot had been rolling over since it was last won on April 19. There had been 22 straight drawings without a jackpot winner, allowing the prize to grow so large.
What are the odds of winning the jackpot?
The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are incredibly small – just 1 in 302.5 million. The couple said they had been playing the same numbers for years before finally getting lucky.