Mega Millions: Winning Ticket for $450 Million Sold in Florida, Lottery Officials Say

One lucky ticket holder in Florida has matched all six numbers in Friday night’s Mega Millions drawing to win $450 million, one of the largest prizes in the game’s 15-year history.

A Mega Millions ticket is sold ahead of the drawing on Jan. 5, 2018. (Credit: KTLA)

A Mega Millions ticket is sold ahead of the drawing on Jan. 5, 2018. (Credit: KTLA)

The numbers drawn were 28, 30, 39, 59 and 70, and the Mega Millions number was 10.

“Congratulations to Florida on their big jackpot win,” Mega Millions Lead Director Gordon Medenica said in a statement on the game’s website. ”This has been an exciting run for Mega Millions players and a great way to start off the new year!”

While the grand prize winner wasn’t in California, one ticket — sold in Daly City, which is in the Bay Area — matched five of six numbers, according to the state lottery. Seven other tickets also matched five numbers.

Though the Mega Millions jackpot had climbed to $450 million, it wasn’t even the biggest lottery prize up for grabs this weekend.

That would be the jackpot for Powerball, which was up to $570 million as of Friday evening, and brought the total of the two to a combined $1.02 billion before a Mega Millions was announced.

The total was the third-largest combined ever. And, as one lottery official noted, only one jackpot in history was larger than the combined total of the two games — the record $1.56 billion Powerball prize that was split three ways in January 2016.

Even by itself, Friday’s jackpot was the fourth-largest in the game’s history — the biggest one was $656 million — and ranks 11th in U.S. lottery history. At $450 million, the prize has an estimated cash value of $281.2 million.

The game’s jackpot for the next drawing, slated for Tuesday night, will be worth an estimated $40 million.

This week was the first time on record that both lottery games offered prizes of $400 million or more at the same time. But it’s a situation that is set to happen more frequently.

That’s because there are now longer odds in both games, leading to less frequent jackpot winners and thus more frequent large jackpots.

Last October, Mega Millions changed the numbers that players could choose from, bringing the odds of picking all six numbers to 1 in 302.6 million, from 1 in 258.9 million under the old format. It also raised the price of a single ticket to $2.

The idea was to increase the size of the top prize. And so far, it has worked.

The move was similar to one made by Powerball in October 2015. That took the odds of winning that game from 1 in 175 million to 1 in 292 million.

The odds of winning both games are 1 in 88 quadrillion — making it quite a long shot for the ticket holder in Florida to win the Powerball drawing Saturday night.

But the longer odds haven’t been stopping people from buying tickets. In fact, the larger jackpots seem to be encouraging more sales. In fact, Americans spent more than $80 billion on them in 2016, which is more than they spent on movies, video games, music, sports tickets and books combined.