One of the largest non-jackpot Mega Millions prizes in Pennsylvania Lottery history hit this week.
During Tuesday’s drawing, a ticket sold at an Allegheny County supermarket hit all five white balls but not the yellow mega ball. The ticket matched the numbers 10-50-55-56-58, guaranteeing a $1 million prize. The winner spent the extra dollar to get the Megaplier on the ticket though. Tuesday’s Megaplier was the max 5X, boosting the prize to $5 million.
Because no ticket won the Mega Millions jackpot, it rolls over to Friday’s drawing. That jackpot is estimated to be worth $393 million, or a one-time payout of $244.2 million.
Another big PA Lottery winner via multiplier
The big winner of Tuesday’s life-changing Mega Millions drawing has yet to come forward. But the PA Lottery indicated that the player purchased the winning ticket at Giant Eagle in McIntyre Square in Pittsburgh.
As a result, that vendor will receive a $10,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket.
The $5 million payout stands as one of the largest in recent PA Lottery history for tickets that did not hit the jackpot. As it happens, another Mega Millions drawing in January featured a similar result.
The game’s first drawing of 2019 saw a Pennsylvanian correctly select the five white balls. With the selected multiplier, that $1 million prize jumped to $4 million.
Mega Millions jackpot ramping back up
More than 38,500 tickets won prizes during Tuesday’s Mega Millions. Some 8,301 of those tickets also included Megapliers.
However, the jackpot remains up for grabs.
As noted, that total is up to $393 million for Friday’s drawing. The game’s prize is returning to prominence after it took the country by storm late last year.
Recall the $1.537 billion jackpot that went to a South Carolina resident following an October drawing. The winning ticket matched all six numbers, improbably beating the 1-in-302.5-million odds. The lump-sum payment amounted to $877.8 million.
Yet, while the Mega Millions jackpot builds, some slight concern remains regarding the recent Wire Act opinion. Namely, if it could sideline the multi-state draw game.
Unfavorable Wire Act decision could become troublesome
The popular Mega Millions game is played in 44 states across the country, as well as in Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Such interstate gaming, however, finds itself under the microscope following the Department of Justice reinterpreting the 1961 Wire Act late last year.
That interpretation, undercutting a DOJ opinion from five years earlier, could criminalize all forms of interstate online gambling.
The New Hampshire Lottery filed a lawsuit against the DOJ, bringing with it support from a number of other state lotteries. Oral arguments took place in April. After hearing arguments, Judge Paul Barbadoro imposed a deadline for the DOJ to tell the court how the Wire Act would apply to state lotteries and vendors. The DOJ ignored that deadline, instead of filing a motion to dismiss.
In the motion, the DOJ would not say one way or another how lotteries would be impacted. It did note that it has every right to potentially prosecute the state and state employees when it comes to Mega Millions and Powerball though.
Both games face potential fallout from the new opinion. The games pool winnings from 44 states via the internet. Because of these interstate transactions, a case could be made that they violate the Wire Act under the new opinion.
For now, though, we remain in waiting. And the Mega Millions jackpot continues to build.