Much like the rest of the country, Pennsylvania’s got a case of jackpot fever.
In fact, Pennsylvanians lined up at PA Lottery retailers across the state Tuesday to take a shot at an estimated $1.6 billion Mega Millions jackpot. The jackpot was the largest ever in lottery history around the world.
The previous record is a $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot from January 2016, shared between three winning tickets in California, Florida, and Tennessee.
Before now, the largest Mega Millions jackpot ever was $656 million won in March 2012. Winners from Illinois, Kansas, and Maryland split that prize.
Of course, jackpot fever should have Pennsylvanians back at PA Lottery retailers Wednesday with the latest Powerball jackpot rising to an estimated $620 million. It will mark the third-largest Powerball jackpot in history.
PA Powerball winners
Pennsylvania Lottery players cleaned up in last Saturday’s Powerball draw, despite no one winning the growing jackpot. In fact, PA Lottery retailers throughout the state sold nine PA Lottery Powerball tickets worth $50,000 or more.
This includes one Pennsylvania Lottery Powerball with Power Play ticket worth $100,000 sold at Musser’s Market supermarket in Lancaster County. The ticket matched four of the five white balls and the red Powerball to win the prize. The $1 Power Play option on the $2 ticket boosted the prize from $50,000 to $100,000 with a multiplier of 2 selected Saturday.
The following locations sold the other eight $50,000 winning tickets:
- A3 Mart in Nazareth
- Anthracite Newsstand in Wilkes-Barre
- Price Chopper in Wyoming
- Sheetz in Gettysburg
- Speedy Meedy’s in Dunbar
- Shah Sunoco in North Versailles
- Sheetz in Franklin
- Turkey Hill in Cochranville
PA Lottery players bought more than 195,000 winning Powerball tickets in last Saturday’s draw. This includes upwards of 39,000 purchased with the $1 Power Play option, doubling the prize.
This marks the first time this year the Powerball jackpot has crossed the $600 million mark, after going 20 drawings in a row without a jackpot winner.
PA Powerball record
In April of this year, a $456.7 million jackpot-winning Powerball ticket was sold at a Speedway gas station and convenience store in Lancaster County.
This marked the largest prize ever awarded by the Pennsylvania Lottery, and Powerball’s eighth-largest jackpot to date.
Emerald Legacy Trust claimed the prize. Owners of the trust opted to receive a cash prize of $273,959,698, instead of a 30-year annuity for the full amount. After various governments withheld 24 percent for federal tax and 3.07 percent state tax, the Emerald Legacy Trust walked away with $199,798,807.75.
Lottery jackpot winners often set up trusts to claim large prizes, allowing them to remain anonymous and effectively manage the wealth.
The PA Lottery has sold a total of 20 jackpot-winning tickets for the two multi-state lotteries to date. It started selling Powerball tickets in 2002 and Mega Millions in 2010.
$1 Mega Millions and $2 Powerball tickets are available in 44 states, plus Washington D.C. and the US Virgin Islands. Players can also purchase Powerball tickets in Puerto Rico.
Winning a Powerball or Mega Millions jackpot
The odds of winning a Mega Millions jackpot are 1 in 302,575,350. The odds of winning a Powerball jackpot stand at 1 in 292,201,338.
Winning a $620 million Powerball jackpot leaves players with the choice of taking a 30-year annuity for the full amount, or a $354.3 million cash prize.
The winner can take the $1.6 billion Mega Millions jackpot as a 30-year annuity or $904 million in cash.
The Pennsylvania Lottery launched online sales in May. However, PA online lottery sales do not include Powerball and Mega Millions tickets at this time. Only instant win online games are available on the PA lottery website and PA lottery app.