First Mega Millions Jackpot In 2024 Goes To New Jersey Ticket, Worth $1.128 Billion

Written By Grant Lucas on March 29, 2024
Billboard with Mega Millions jackpot prize for a story on a New Jersey Lottery ticket claiming the $1.128 billion jackpot

New Jersey has reached a Mega Millions milestone. And the ticket that reached the landmark is one of the most valuable in the 22-year history of the lottery draw game.

On March 26, a ticket sold in Neptune Township matched all six numbers that not only became the 28th jackpot in New Jersey Lottery history but also the biggest ever in the Garden State and the fifth-largest ever awarded by Mega Millions: $1.128 billion.

“Congratulations to the winner of this life changing jackpot,” James Carey, executive director of the NJ Lottery, said in a statement.

“We encourage the winner to immediately sign the back of the ticket, make a copy of both sides and put it in a safe place. The Lottery has a Winner’s Guide on our website at NJLottery.com and we encourage the winner to read it before reaching out to Lottery officials at 1-800-222-0996 to file a claim for this jackpot prize.”

March Mega Millions winning ticket ranks fifth all-time

According to the New Jersey Lottery, ShopRite Liquor sold the jackpot-winning ticket, which carries a cash value of $537.5 million. For its reward, ShopRite Liquor will receive a $30,000 bonus commission for selling the winning ticket, which matched the white balls 7, 11, 22, 29 and 38 as well as the gold Mega Ball 4.

The NJ Lottery claimed it as the 28th Mega Millions jackpot win in the Garden State, while the Mega Millions website lists 26 jackpot winners. It represents the first New Jersey win since July 24, 2020, which featured a purse of $123 million. The previous largest jackpot in New Jersey came in March 2018 at $533 million.

Overall, the $1.128 billion won ranks fifth all-time in Mega Millions history.

  • $1.602 billion: August 8, 2023 in Florida
  • $1.537 billion: October 23, 2018 in South Carolina
  • $1.348 billion: January 13, 2023 in Maine
  • $1.337 billion: July 29, 2022 in Illinois
  • $1.128 billion: March 26, 2024 in New Jersey

“Congratulations to the New Jersey Lottery for selling a jackpot-winning ticket in Tuesday’s $1.128 billion Mega Millions drawing,” Gretchen Corbin, lead director of the Mega Millions Consortium, said in a press release.

“We celebrate our new jackpot winner, as well as all the prizes won and dollars raised for good causes during this exciting jackpot run.”

Plenty of other Mega Millions winners in New Jersey

While that $1.128 billion ticket will justifiably garner most of the headlines, New Jersey boasted 10 other winning tickets totaling $120,000.

That includes two winners who matched four of the five white balls for $10,000 that doubled because of the Megaplier multiplier. The other eight missed the multiplier and settled for $10,000.

Beyond that, according to the New Jersey Lottery, 190,508 lottery players combined for $806,876 in prizes ranging from $2 to $400.

Winners can choose to remain anonymous in New Jersey

As for the spotlight-grabbing jackpot ticketholder, while plenty of horror stories exist for big-prize winners, New Jersey actually allows lottery winners to remain anonymous indefinitely. As a result, their identities will never be included in materials “available to public inspection,” according to the NJ Lottery, under the Open Public Records Act.

That said, for those who claim prizes of at least $600, they must provide proof of identity to lottery officials. And while the department does share those identities with other state agencies, they do not become public.

Back to the lucky New Jersey jackpot winner, who will certainly be doing some serious celebrating and financial planning after winning the fifth-largest Mega Millions prize in the game’s history.

That $1.128 billion became the first Mega Millions jackpot awarded in 2024 after hitting 10 times last year. What’s more, including other games, it stands as the eighth-largest in US lottery history.

Photo by Ted Shaffrey / AP Photo
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Grant Lucas

Grant Lucas is a longtime sportswriter who has covered high school, collegiate, and professional levels. A graduate of Linfield College in McMinnville, Grant now focuses his attention on the growing NJ online gambling and sports betting scene.

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