Five North Carolinians have won jackpots in PowerBall or Mega Millions. If someone in the state wins Mega Millions on the current jackpot, that person could win a lot more than all of them. Combined.
The jackpot for Friday’s drawing has risen to $540 million for the six-ball drawing in which 42 states participate. That amounts to what state lottery officials are calling the largest jackpot in history in the United States or, arguably, anywhere.
People in North Carolina can compete in both large multistate lotteries – Powerball and Mega Millions. The longer a jackpot goes in either game, the larger the prize money grows.
The lump-sum award for the Mega Millions jackpot Friday would be $389.9 million before taxes. Winners instead could choose 26 annual payments of $20.77 million. The odds of hitting the jackpot in Mega Millions are 1 in 175,711,536; winners must match all five numbers, plus a sixth number known as the MegaBall, on a $1 ticket.
Tuesday’s Mega Millions drawing proved bountiful in North Carolina even without a jackpot, according to state lottery spokesman Christopher Bushnell. Residents won $1.7 million in prizes, and of the 79,671 winning tickets, nine paid off more than $10,000.
Two tickets matched all five regular numbers, but not the MegaBall. David Henderson, a truck driver from Durham, won $250,000. After taxes, he received a check for $170,000, and said he was going to save most of the money.
The other, sold in Charlotte, was worth $1 million because the buyer spent an extra dollar on the multiplying feature called “Megaplier.”
Customers also bought tickets worth $10,000 at Quality Mart on Presidential Drive in Durham and at the Lowe’s Foods in Apex. The winners of the prizes have not been identified.
Frank Griffin of Asheville holds the North Carolina jackpot record after winning a $141.4 million PowerBall jackpot in February 2010. Combined, the previous winners from the state have won about $375 million in jackpots from the two largest multistate lotteries.
Non-jackpot prizes range from $2 to $1 million, depending on how many numbers match the drawing. Since Mega Millions first appeared in the state Jan. 31, 2010, North Carolinians have won 33 non-jackpot prizes worth $250,000 or $1 million playing Mega Millions. Residents of the state have won $103.5 million in total prize money on Mega Millions.
Staff Writer Kyle Jahner