[Breaking news update at 5:28 a.m.]
The Mega Millions jackpot was finally won Tuesday night, and a single lucky ticket holder in South Carolina can claim the largest jackpot ever offered in the worldwide lottery industry — an estimated $1.6 billion with a one-time cash option of $913 million.
[Previous story published at 4:52 a.m.]
After days of nationwide lotto fever, the Mega Millions winning numbers are out. And the wait is on for the nation’s newest millionaire.
The magic numbers drawn Tuesday night were 5, 28, 62, 65, 70, and the Mega Ball was 5. The jackpot is a staggering $1.6 billion — with a one-time cash option of $913 million.
The South Carolina Education Lottery website reported that a winning ticket was sold in that state. Mega Millions has not confirmed, and its website said the results are pending early Wednesday. It’s unclear whether there are jackpot winners in other states.
Meanwhile, the California lottery tweeted that eight tickets in the state matched five of the six numbers for an undisclosed amount of money.
“We’re still waiting on results from other states,” it said. “If no one wins tonight, Friday’s jackpot is an estimated $2 billion.”
Mega Millions beats its own jackpot record
The next jackpot winner could come from anywhere. Mega Millions is played in 44 states as well as Washington, D.C., and the US Virgin Islands. A ticket costs $2 — but the odds of winning are about 1 in 302 million.
Mega Millions has already smashed its own jackpot record. That was $656 million shared by winners in three states in March 2012.
No one has won the Mega Millions jackpot since July 24 when 11 co-workers in California split $543 million.
But wait … there’s the Powerball
Mega Millions aside, the Powerball drawing is Wednesday, and the jackpot for that is an estimated $620 million. Not too shabby, either.
The Powerball has climbed since the last winner in New York in August, and has had 20 drawings since then without a jackpot winner. Wednesday’s will be the third-largest Powerball jackpot.
Before this week’s Mega Millions, the US lottery jackpot record was $1.586 billion, split among three winning Powerball tickets in January 2016.