California Player Wins $522 Mega Millions Jackpot

Wednesday July 25th 2018

A player from California has won the fifth-largest Mega Millions jackpot of all time after landing an incredible $522 million on Tuesday night. The top prize had been growing since Friday May 4th and a surge in ticket sales over the past few days had seen it shoot through the half-a-billion barrier.

What do we know about the jackpot winner?

The lucky ticket holder matched the numbers 1, 2, 4, 19 and 29, plus the Mega Ball 20, in the latest draw on Tuesday 24th July. The California Lottery quickly announced that it had sold the only winning entry, and later announced the ticket had been bought in San Jose at Ernie’s Liquors.

No more information is known about the jackpot winner at this early stage, but it is the largest Mega Millions prize to have ever been won on a single ticket in the Golden State. The winner now has one year to come forward and claim their money. The cash value of the jackpot was $308.1 million, so the player can decide whether to take the money as a lump sum or plump for the full amount as an annuity.

“This has been an exciting roll,” said Mega Millions Lead Director Gordon Medenica, who also works as the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Director. “Congratulations to California for taking home the fifth-largest jackpot in Mega Millions history.”

How close was it to being the biggest jackpot ever?

The record for the largest Mega Millions jackpot in history stands at $656 million and dates back to March 30th 2012, when three players split the money. That record could have been broken if Tuesday’s draw had been a rollover, as the jackpot had jumped from $433 million last Friday to its final figure of $522 million. “It’s jackpot fever. People are very excited about this large jackpot so everybody’s participating,” Tracey Cohen, the chief operating officer for the D.C. Lottery, said before Tuesday’s draw.

The second-largest jackpot of all time, $648 million, was shared between two participants, so there have only been two bigger prizes won on single tickets than the amount won in the latest draw. One of these came in March of this year, when Richard Wahl from New Jersey banked $533 million.

What else happened in Tuesday’s Mega Millions draw?

Apart from the jackpot winner, there were over 3 million other prizes given away on Tuesday night across the remaining tiers. Eight tickets matched the five main numbers to win the game’s second prize. Two of these - sold in Massachusetts and Texas - ended up with $3 million each because they had added the Megaplier option at the point of purchase. The other six players - from Arizona, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota and New Jersey (two) - won $1 million each. Go to the Mega Millions Numbers page to find out more about the latest results.

One of the reasons why Mega Millions has created so many big jackpots this year is that the minimum top prize was increased to $40 million last October. If you missed out this time you can still look forward to trying to win on Friday, either by visiting an authorized retailer or choosing numbers online.

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