After a record run of 36 drawings without a jackpot winner, the 37th drawing of the multi-state Mega Millions game produced a single $1.05 billion winner last night when one lottery ticket sold in Michigan matched all five numbers plus the Mega Ball.
It was the third time a lottery jackpot had grown to more than $1 billion, and the second time a single ticket won $1 billion or more.
The public has been electrified the couple of weeks by the meteoric rise of the Mega Millions and Powerball lottery jackpots, which both simultaneously set records for the longest unbroken streaks. At the finish line, Mega Millions went for one extra drawing and finished by creating a lottery billionaire.
The winner of the unimaginable haul will choose between being paid $1.05 billion in 30 annually-increasing payments over 29 years or the lump-sum cash value of $776.6 million.
According to USA Mega's Mega Millions Jackpot Analysis, after all taxes are paid, the winner either will receive $617.9 million by the end of 29 years, or $450.5 million in cash all at once. (We know which option we'd take!)
The winning ticket was sold at Kroger #632 at 47650 Grand River Ave in Novi, Michigan. It is the 18th Mega Millions jackpot won in Michigan over the years; the last one was a prize shared with Rhode Island on October 13, 2017.
Michigan was one of the original founding members of Mega Millions, which was called The Big Game at the time.
The Mega Millions winning numbers for Friday, January 22, 2021, were: 4, 26, 42, 50, and 60, with Mega Ball number 24. The Megaplier was 2.
It's hard to imagine the winner getting much sleep Friday night, as they try to process winning such an unimaginably huge lottery jackpot awarded to a single ticket — the one they're holding in their hand.
Millions of lottery players in the USA and around the world are wondering what they are planning to do with all that loot.
What is the first thing you would do?
Unlike the South Carolina winner of a $1.5 billion Mega Millions jackpot in 2018 who could remain anonymous, Michigan law only allows winners of in-state games to keep their name from the public. We'll have to keep an eye on what happens there, as past court battles over anonymity did not always turn out the way the law was written.
Fortunately, even if you didn't win the jackpot, the Mega Millions game still offers another 8 ways to win lower-tier prizes.
In addition to the jackpot winner, 10 lucky players matched the first 5 numbers for a $1,000,000 prize: 2 from Florida, 1 from Maryland, 1 from Missouri, 1 from North Carolina, 1 from New Jersey, 2 from New York, 1 from Pennsylvania, and 1 from Virginia.
Two of the second-prize winners — the tickets sold in North Carolina and Virginia — were purchased with the Megaplier option for an extra $1. Because they purchased the Megaplier, those tickets are now worth $2 million after being multiplied by the Megaplier number of 2.
187 tickets matched four white numbers plus the Mega Ball and won $10,000. Of those tickets, 31 were purchased with the Megaplier option, increasing the prize to $20,000, and 26 were sold in California, where the prize was $11,036 this drawing.
Unlike all the other Mega Millions states, California awards all prizes on a pari-mutuel basis, meaning the prizes will change each drawing based on the number of tickets sold and the number of tickets that won at each prize level.
In total, nearly 7.4 million tickets won prizes across the game's nine prize tiers in Friday's drawing. Apart from the jackpot, there were more than $46.2 million in prizes awarded last night.
A complete list of payouts for all prizes and the official drawing video can be found at USA Mega's Mega Millions Drawing Information page, as well as at Lottery Post's Mega Millions Prize Payouts page.
The still record-holder for the world's largest lottery jackpot was a $1.5864 billion Powerball jackpot in Jan. 2016, split three-ways by ticket-holders in California, Florida, and Tennessee.
The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are 1 in 302.6 million.
Had no one matched all of the numbers drawn lottery officials said the next jackpot would have reached $1.1 billion.
With the jackpot being won Friday, the next Mega Millions annuity jackpot estimate is reset to its starting point of $20 million.
Mega Millions is currently offered for sale in 45 states, plus Washington, D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Drawings are Tuesdays and Fridays at 11:00 pm Eastern Time. Tickets cost $2 each.
The Mega Millions winning numbers are published at USA Mega (www.usamega.com) minutes after the drawing takes place.