Lottery fever is sweeping through Greene and Columbia counties as the Mega Millions jackpot soars to over $1.5 billion.
This is the third time in the 20-year history of Mega Millions that the jackpot has reached billions, according to lottery officials.
“Lottery ticket sales are very high before the draw,” said Daniel Barnes, manager of the Claverack Xtramart, on Thursday.
The store is seeing a lot of new faces buying tickets, with the large number of people in the area vacationing, Barnes said.
Mega Millions has not had a jackpot winner since April 15, when a Tennessee ticket holder won a $20 million jackpot, lottery officials said.
Jackpot winners for Mega Millions have two choices on how to receive their payouts – take the cash option in a lump sum or spread the winnings over 30 years with annual payouts, said Brad Maione, director of communications for the New York Lottery.
If someone wins the Friday night jackpot and chooses the cash option, they will receive $602.5 million in cash, lottery officials said.
“We continue to see ticket sales increase, as the jackpot has reached this level,” said Leeds Xtramart assistant manager Lee Gogger.
In addition to regular players, many people pass through the store and come to the area for vacations, Gogger said.
The Leeds Xtramart is located next to the Catskill Thruway exit.
With unprecedented internet traffic after the draw, more than anything in the history of megamillions.comthe Mega Millions website was unavailable for more than two hours on Tuesday night.
As the jackpot increases, the number of winning tickets also increases at all other prize levels. For the July 26 draw alone, there were a total of 6,775,330 winning tickets at all prize levels.
Nine tickets matched the five white balls to win the Mega Millions second prize. One, sold in Ohio, is worth $3 million because it included the optional Megaplier, which is an additional $1 purchase available in most states, which was 3X Tuesday night.
Of the other eight Match 5 tickets worth $1 million, two each were sold in New Jersey and New York, plus one each in California, Florida, Illinois and Ohio, officials said. of the lottery.
The two winning million dollar tickets to New York were sold in Saratoga County and Staten Island.
There were a few players at the Claverack Xtramart who bought a lot of tickets for Friday night’s draw. One person bought $550 worth of tickets, another spent $400, Barnes said.
Many players who come to the store spend $20 on Mega Millions, Gogger said.
When playing the lottery, customers can play their own numbers or choose a Quick Pick, where the computer selects six numbers for you, Maione said.
The other two Mega Millions jackpots to top $1 billion occurred on January 22, 2021, when $1.050 billion was won in Michigan, and the biggest winner to date, October 23, 2018, when a person in South Carolina won $1.537 billion.
The odds of winning the Mega Millions top prize are 1 in 303 million, Maione said.
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