Mega Millions jackpot reaches $500 million

Published 10:11 am Thursday, March 29, 2012

What would you do with a half billion dollars?

Business is expected to be brisk today (Thursday) and Friday for local and statewide retailers of the North Carolina Education Lottery as the Mega Millions jackpot has reached $500 million.

That jackpot of half a billion dollars for Friday’s Mega Millions drawing is the biggest prize in U.S. lottery history, shattering the previous record of $390 million set in March 2007.

No one won the jackpot during Tuesday’s drawing (winning numbers were: 9-19-34-44-51 with 24 as the Mega Ball). However, there were a handful of North Carolina winners on Tuesday – with more than $1.7 million in prizes. Of the 79,671 winning tickets, nine won prizes of $10,000 to $1 million.

Two tickets matched all five white balls. The one sold at Sam’s Mart on Albemarle Road in Charlotte had the $1 Megaplier feature added, making it worth $1 million. The other ticket, worth $250,000, was sold at Town Deli Grocery on North Alston Avenue in Durham.

A pair of Megaplier tickets matched four white balls and the Mega Ball to win $30,000. They were sold at the MS Food Mart on East Main Street in Lincolnton and at the Lowe’s Foods on Winkler Street in Wilkesboro.

Five more tickets matched four white balls and the Mega Ball, but were not Megaplied, making them worth $10,000 each. They were sold at the following locations:

The Han-Dee Hugo on Eastwood Road in Wilmington

The Bizzy Bee on North Main Street in High Point

The Quality Mart on Presidential Drive in Durham

Strickland’s Inc on N.C. 210 South in Stedman (Cumberland County)

The Lowe’s Foods on Apex Peakway in Apex (Wake County)

A string of 18 straight rolls without a big winner have propelled the Mega Millions jackpot to $500 million for Friday’s drawing, making it the largest prize North Carolina players have ever had the chance to win.

If won by a ticket in our state, the $500 million annuity would more than double the largest lottery prize ever awarded here. In all, five North Carolina players have beaten the odds to win a Mega Millions or Powerball jackpot.

According to NC Lottery officials, the following represents the past history of Mega Millions winners in the state:

A Wilmington woman claimed the first $250,000 prize in March 2010;

A Surry County man claimed the first $500,000 prize in April 2010;

A Durham man claimed the first $1 million prize in May 2010;

A Greensboro man claimed the first jackpot of $12 million in July 2010;

Another $500,000 prize was awarded to a player from Montgomery County in August 2010;

A group of 10 coworkers from the Macon County area claimed $250,000 in March 2011;

A Greenville man claimed the second jackpot of $57 million in October 2011;

A group of 10 co-workers from the Hickory area claimed $250,000 in February 2012; and

$1 million wins have been awarded to players from Durham, Wake, Alleghany, Alamance, Guilford, Nash and Union counties.