Saturday, March 19, 2011

Mega Millions winning numbers worth $172 million


New Jersey's lottery players will be thinking green two days before St. Patrick’s Day. A whole lot of green.

The grand prize in Tuesday’s Mega millions drawing stands at $172 million. A winner would have the choice to take annual payments of roughly $6 million for 26 years or walk away with a cash option lump-sum payment of $108.9 million.

In this past Friday night's Mega Millions drawing, there was no jackpot winner, but according to, 11 lucky players matched the first 5 numbers for a $250,000 prize, one of them coming from New Jersey.

The 40-year-old New Jersey Lottery outdoes many other states’ comparable operations in sales and in the amount of revenue it provides to the state. In 2010, despite a poor economy that has hurt casino and racetrack gambling, the state lottery broke all of its previous revenue records.


10, 11, 12, 28, 43 and Mega ball 45

In June 2010 the state Treasury Department and acting director of the state Lottery Commission, Carole Hedinger announced that total profits for the previous 12 months had exceeded $2.6 billion for the first time.

Not all states shared such good fortune: The Press of Atlantic City reported last year that a study by the Rockefeller Institute for Government, based in New York, found in the same period that some lotteries, such as those in Oregon and West Virginia, lost as much as 15 percent of their revenue. Neighboring Pennsylvania, which has expanded casino gambling, saw a drop last year, too, of about $22 million, or nearly 1 percent of revenue.

But money can create just as many problems as it solves if you’re not careful. There are too many stories of people winning the lottery which turn into nightmares.

Craig Wallace, a senior funding officer for a company that buys lottery annuity payments in exchange for lump sums, told, "In New Jersey, they manipulate the reality of the situation to sell more tickets. Each winner takes a picture with a check that becomes a 3-foot by 5-foot stand-up card. The winner is photographed standing next to a beautiful woman and the caption reads: 'New Jersey's newest millionaire.'"

Evelyn Adams won the New Jersey twice in 1985 and 1986, for a total of $5.4 million. Today the money is all gone and Adams lives in a trailer.

"Everybody wanted my money. Everybody had their hand out. I never learned one simple word in the English language — 'No,' said Adams.

Tuesday's Mega Millions jackpot will be the 12th drawing since the last jackpot prize winner. If no one wins on Tuesday, Friday’s Mega millions drawing could conceivably approach $200 million.


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