March 31, 2012
2-4-23-38-46, Mega Ball 23. If those are the numbers on your Mega Millions lottery ticket, you've won a jackpot worth a world record $640 million. It would take the average American household 12,800 years to earn $640.00 million. It would have been 176 times more likely to be struck by lightinig in your life time than winning this jackpot.
Lottery ticket-holders in Kansas, Illinois and Maryland each selected the winning numbers and will split a $640 million jackpot that was believed to be the world's largest such prize, a lottery official said Saturday.
Mike Lang, spokesman for the Illinois Lottery, said his state's winning ticket was sold in the small town of Red Bud, near St. Louis. The winner used a quick pick to select the numbers, he said.
The Maryland Lottery announced earlier Saturday that it had sold a winning ticket at a retail store in Baltimore County. No details were immediately available about the Kansas ticket.
Lang said each winning ticket was expected to be worth more than $213 million before taxes.
Carole Everett, director of communications for the Maryland Lottery, said the last time a ticket from the state won a major national jackpot was 2008 when a ticket sold for $24 million.
"We're thrilled," she said. "We're due and excited."
Scores of wanna-be multimillionaires held their collective breath as the lottery numbers were drawn at 11 p.m. ET. Most exhaled as realism took hold: chances of winning were just 1 in 176 million.
With much of the nation gripped by Mega Millions fever this week, hopefuls inundated convenience stores, gas stations and other ticket outlets in 42 states, Washington, D.C., and the Virgin Islands, forking out nearly $1.5 billion. The $1shot at mega-wealth had been the talk of TV, social media sites, office water coolers and dreamy high-rollers for the past week, electrifying ticket sales with a frenzy that amped up leading to Friday's drawing.
The pot had grown nearly $300 million since Tuesday's Mega Millions drawing failed to draw a top prize winner for the 18th consecutive time since Jan. 27.
"It's uncharted territory," says Buddy Roogow, director of the Washington, D.C., lottery, which issued a commemorative "I Played The World's Largest Jackpot" ticket this week. A typical Mega Millions drawing sells 250,000 tickets in the nation's capital. Friday sales were expected to top 1 million.
Social media users were buzzing about the jackpot on Facebook and Twitter, mostly about what they would do with the money, but also about the minute possibility of winning the top prize.
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