New Jersey Mega Millions Player Misses Jackpot, Gets $1 Million Instead

Written By Bart Shirley on October 23, 2018

It’s hard to remember that lotteries pay more than just the grand prize.

In the middle of everyone angling to become the next billionaire, someone in New Jersey won $1 million in Mega Millions on Oct. 19.

Some lucky Garden Stater bought the seven-figure ticket at a 7-Eleven in Cedar Knolls. The Morris County store reported that one ticket sold matched the five of six numbers drawn.

The winner has not come forward to claim the prize or be identified yet. However, he or she was one of 15 million-dollar winners from the Oct. 19 drawing.

Those winners all selected 15, 23, 53, 65, and 70 as their white balls. However, they whiffed on choosing the 7 ball for the Mega Ball.

All 15 winners could have multiplied their winnings with the purchase of a Megaplier option. However, only one of them — a bettor from Texas — chose to do so, and will receive $2 million.

Mega Millions could make history tonight

Of course, the big story about the lottery is the historic drawing that happens tonight. Mega Millions will draw six numbers for the biggest lottery jackpot in American history.

At present, the jackpot stands at an estimated $1.6 billion. For players who prefer a lump sum payout, the cash value of the jackpot is a jaw-dropping $904 million.

The jackpot eclipses the previous record from 2016. In January of that year, a Powerball jackpot reached an estimated payout of $1.586 billion.

Three ticketholders in Kentucky, Florida, and California split the prize for a payout of $533 million each. In terms of lump-sum, that jackpot paid nearly $328 million.

The claim for largest single win still belongs to Mavis L. Wanczyk. The Massachusetts medical worker was the only claimant to a $758.7 million Powerball jackpot, which paid her $480.5 million in a lump sum.

Of course, a single winner in tonight’s drawing would blow past that figure with ease. However, given the immense attention the jackpot has right now, the possibility of a split pot is growing larger.

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New Jersey has a tradition of winning the lottery

Friday’s million-dollar winner is by no means the only big lottery winner in the Garden State’s recent history. There have been several people to make big strikes just in the past year.

In May, a shopper at a Hackensack Shop-Rite correctly selected the numbers in a Powerball drawing. That win was good for a jackpot that topped $315 million, or roughly $183 million in cash.

That win came two months after Richard Wahl hit the Mega Millions in March. Wahl expects to keep roughly $175 million of the $533 million dollar jackpot after taxes.

Between Wahl’s score and tonight’s drawing, there has been only one other hit on the Mega Millions grand prize. A California office pool matched all six numbers in July 2018.

So, it’s something of a tradition that the Mega Millions winner lives in New Jersey. Pick smart, and maybe you can bring the trophy home tonight.

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Bart Shirley

Bart Shirley is a writer and poker player from Houston, Texas. When he's not teaching high school math and business, Bart writes about the NJ online casino industry and US online poker. He has a master's degree in business administration from Texas Christian University and a degree in English from Texas A&M.

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