Mega Millions has drawn the winning numbers for its advertised annuity jackpot of $344 million, and here they are:
5, 12, 22, 41 and 65, with 13 as the Mega Ball.
Alas, no one matched them all, so Friday's jackpot will be worth an estimated $400 million for the annuity, $216 million for the cash.
Five tickets came quite close, missing only the Mega Ball. Two of these $1 milllion winners were sold in Ohio, the others in New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts. The Jersey ticket was purchased near the Shore at the Shoprite of Manchester, 1001 Route 70 West, in Manchester Township, just west of Toms River.
Nobody matched five while having the Megaplier multiplier option, which was 2, so there were no $2 million winners.
The stage is set for a potentially very lucky Friday the 13th, although it's possible the jackpot could be the first to reach $400 million and not get hit.
This jackpot run began in early October, about two weeks before Mega Millions made a series of changes to the game. Second prizes were upped (minimum $1 million, max $5 million). Minimum jackpot was made $15 milllion, with rollovers guaranteed to rise by $5 million.
Perhaps most importantly, the odds were lengthened to 1 in 259 million, up from 1 in 175 million, making jackpots less likely to get hit and more likely to grow.
And that's just what happened, as this Mega Millions jackpot became the first in a year-and-a-half to surpass $200 million.
Rival Powerball in that span had become a 400-pound gorilla, with several jackpots that topped $400 million, including two that finished over $580 million.
Another Mega Millions rollover should mean another $100 million in sales, said Paula Otto, executive director of the Virginia Lottery and top official with the Mega Millions Consortium.
About 75 million tickets were expected sold for Tuesday's drawing, she said.
Sales in Pennsylvania, just for Tuesday, topped $1 million by midafternoon, when lines of numbers were being printed out at nearly 3,000 a minute, according to state lottery spokeswoman Lauren Piccolo.
Mega Millions set the all-time U.S. lottery record of $656 million on March 30, 2012.
Lottery fever was unprecedented, sending the jackpot soaring $300 million in just three days, as skyrocketing sales led to several upward revisions.
A repeat performance is probably unlikely, since Powerball has since had three jackpots reach $400 million and the highest final jackpot was $590.5 million, all won by a Florida woman in May.
Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or firstname.lastname@example.org.