A Big Gulp and a Bigger Win: Largest PA Jackpot Ever Claimed by Five-Member Group With Ticket Purchased at 7-11

The biggest Pennsylvania’s biggest jackpot ever was claimed by a Bucks County group. Pennsylvania Lottery on pace for record fiscal year.

A stop at a 7-Eleven and a Quick Pick ticket brought home Pennsylvania’s biggest jackpot ever.

Last week, a five-member group from Levittown claimed the winning Mega Millions ticket from the May 21 drawing that had an annuity value of $516 million. It was the largest jackpot in the history of Pennsylvania’s lottery prizes.

The group formed the Peace of Mind Trust to claim the winning ticket and opted for the lump-sum payment of $348.6 million. After a 24-percent federal tax and a 3.07 percent state tax, the trust will share $254.2 million.

It’s an eye-popping, life-changing, big gulp-inducing total.

Pennsylvania Lottery Executive Director Drew Svitko said in a press release:

“The Pennsylvania Lottery congratulates the big winners of this historic jackpot. We tell our players all the time that it only takes one ticket to have a chance (for) a life-changing jackpot…This Mega Millions win is a reminder of that fact. This is the largest jackpot ever won in Pennsylvania, and that’s also great news for the older Pennsylvanians who benefit from the programs the Pennsylvania Lottery funds.”

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Ninth-largest Mega Millions jackpot ticket sold in Bucks County

The 7-Eleven on Trenton Road in Levittown in Bucks County sold the winning ticket which matched all five white balls drawn (6-9-17-18-48) and the yellow Mega Ball 8.

Overall, it was the ninth-largest jackpot since the Mega Millions game began in 2002. The odds of winning were approximately 1 in 302 million.

But it only takes that one.

Attorneys Kurt Panouses and Christopher Mahoney, who represent the newly-formed Peace of Mind Trust, said in a statement from the news release:

“This is life-changing generational money. The winners live in small communities in eastern Pennsylvania and desire to keep their lives as normal as possible. Maintaining anonymity is key to ensuring that normalcy. The winning ticket was a Quick Pick.”

Mega Millions is played in 45 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The most recent run in Pennsylvania (from February 19 to May 21) generated $41.5 million in sales. It created tax revenue of $16.6 million to benefit older Pennsylvanians.

The next jackpot, which is estimated at $94 million, will be drawn on Friday night. Tickets can be purchased at lottery retailers or online/in-app for those with iLottery accounts.

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PA Lottery on pace for record fiscal year

Despite a pandemic that disrupted many elements of normal life, Pennsylvania Lottery’s fiscal year should produce record profits and tax revenues.

Pennsylvania Lottery’s projections for the fiscal year (which ended ended on June 30), estimated that traditional lottery sales would surpass $5 billion. Projections for online lottery games estimated sales of over $900 million. Those totals would provide more than $1.3 billion to programs that benefit older Pennsylvanians.

The state couldn’t afford to lose that revenue stream during the pandemic. Thankfully, the PA Lottery’s employees were up to the challenge. They adapted operations to ensure the lottery’s daily drawings continued, safeguarding the support provided to the state’s older citizens.

PA Gov. Tom Wolf highlighted the drawings staff at the PA Lottery as part of a new Profiles in Service Series. The distinction spotlights the work of state employees who provide quality public services and overcome operational challenges created by the pandemic.

Lottery Drawings Manager Rachel Feitelson said in the press release:

“One of the main challenges we had to overcome was to figure out how to continue to do the drawings, while following our procedures and the CDC Guidelines. The team worked together. We were able to come up with ways to keep everybody safe and still get the job done, get it done properly and correctly. There was no doubt that we wouldn’t do the drawings.”

Overall, the PA Lottery has a staff of roughly 275 employees. Their collective efforts have kept the state lottery and the various programs it supports as a vibrant asset for Pennsylvania’s revenues.

PA Lottery’s online games continue strong performance

At present, the Pennsylvania Lottery is seeing growth in almost all of its game categories. Scratch-off tickets remain the most popular product. The lottery is also benefiting from the Powerball and Mega Millions multi-state jackpots that generate significant sales.

In addition, the state’s iLottery games have also been incredibly popular during the pandemic. Players can access the games on their computer, tablet or mobile device, right from their homes.

It all adds up to record numbers.

With the massive Mega Millions win and the fiscal year projections, it’s been a strong stretch for the Pennsylvania Lottery. The success is even more impressive considering all the obstacles and challenges that everyone encountered.

Now, with the pandemic’s disruptions nearing an end, it’s possible the PA Lottery’s next fiscal year could be even better.

Even brighter days and more big jackpots – like those brought by a 7-Eleven Quick Pick – will be waiting up ahead.

Who Has the Golden Ticket? Lottery Producing Huge Payouts and Big Tales in PA and Beyond

Lottery excitement continues with a billion-dollar jackpot yet to be claimed, a $60 million jackpot from a dream, and dozens of big winners in Pennsylvania.

The story will eventually come out.

With lottery winners, it always does.

In Michigan, someone in the town of Novi bought a Mega Millions ticket that just won a $1.05 billion-dollar prize. It was the biggest Mega Millions jackpot ever and according to an article at Hometown Life, the rumor mill has focused on some area teachers.

Perhaps they have indeed grabbed the lottery’s golden ticket. But as of now, no one knows.

“It’s a random game of chance, you never know when it will hit or when they will come forward,” Jake Harris, a communications specialist with the Michigan Lottery, told Hometown Life. “It’s kind of like that scene in Willy Wonka, when they are digging for the chocolate bar and then yell, ‘I’ve got it!’”

That person – whoever it is – hasn’t appeared in Michigan yet. The official story has yet to arrive.

In Canada, it has.

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Lottery dream becomes reality twenty years later

A woman in Ontario, Canada had been playing the same lotto numbers for 20 years that her husband had once dreamed about. In December, that persistence finally paid off.

According to CNN.com, Deng Pravatoudom‘s unflinching belief in those numbers brought home a lottery win worth $60 million.

And here in Pennsylvania, the lottery is turning people into millionaires all across the state.

On Tuesday, the Pennsylvania Lottery announced that a player in Bradford County just won $1 million on a Millionaire’s Club Scratch-Off

Just one week earlier, someone at a Wawa in Chester County also won a $1-million prize on the Jackpot Party Scratch-Off.

Near misses in Mega Millions result in a pair of million-dollar prizes in PA

Two Pennsylvania players also took home a million dollars each in the Mega Millions drawing that made a billionaire in Michigan. Those players matched all the numbers from the Mega Millions except for the Mega Ball.

According to WGAL, one of those million-dollar tickets was sold at a Sunoco in Chambersburg. The other was sold at Gingrich’s Food Market near Lancaster (according to FOX43).

A player from New Jersey also matched those same five numbers, bringing home a million there as well.

The Mega Millions drawing came just two days after a Powerball ticket was sold at an old mining-town in Maryland that matched all six numbers. That jackpot totaled $731.1 million.

And on a slightly smaller scale, a player in Norristown won nearly $300,000 in the “I Like Big Bucks” drawing on January 21st. 

Pennsylvania’s daily lotteries continue to pay dividends as well. Winners from the state’s draw games are updated regularly on the PA lottery website.

Second Chance drawings give losing  tickets another life

Even the non-winners have another shot. The Pennsylvania Lottery’s End of the Rainbow Second Chance drawing has begun, giving losing tickets a chance to redeem themselves.

As noted by The Progress News, non-winning Find the Leprechaun, O’Lucky Coin and Clover All Over Scratch-Off tickets may be entered between now and March 25, 2021 for chances to win numerous prizes worth $17,000, $7,000, or $700. There’s also a chance to win $100 to play PA online lottery games.

Starting Tuesday, Feb. 2 through March 25, non-winning 17, Good Luck Charm$ and Four Leaf Loot Fast Play tickets may be entered for chances to win similar prizes as well.

Players can enter the tickets through the VIP Players Club at palottery.com or scan-to-enter using the official lottery app. Winners will be announced at palottery.com. You can find entry instructions, prize details, rules, restrictions, and drawing information there too.

So even the losing tickets have one last hope.

Maybe they will redeem themselves. Maybe they’ll finish as a winner in the end.

And if they do, the story will eventually come out.

Lead image via Dreamstime.

Swing and a Miss: Court Rules Winning $4.15 Million PA Lotto Ticket Belongs to Doylestown Store, Not Employee

A Doylestown store employee attempted to pass off a $4.15 million Match 6 PA lottery ticket as her own, but a state court ruled against her.

Well, she tried.

And maybe you can’t blame her.

But a state Superior Court ruled Tuesday that Beverlie Seltzer, an employee at an Acme store in Doylestown, cannot keep a winning $4.15 million lottery ticket because it rightfully belongs to her store, not her.

As explained in a PennLive article, the winning Match 6 ticket was what’s considered a mistake ticket printed by the store. The store must pay the lottery commission for its mistake tickets. But the store can also keep any winnings that they produce.

Winning ticket was a mistake print in March 2019

In Seltzer’s case, she discovered the winning $4.15 million ticket in the mistake pile when she reported to work on March 21, 2019. Seltzer took $10 from her purse to purchase the winning ticket instead of following the typical procedure, which would have allowed the store to claim the winnings. The store’s security footage confirmed Seltzer’s maneuver.

Seltzer eventually tried to claim the winning ticket. She later appealed to the Superior Court after a Bucks County ruling found that the winnings belonged to the store.

On Tuesday, the Superior Court reached the same verdict.

“When Ms. Seltzer in this instance deviated from the Acme procedures that she usually followed, she acted surreptitiously and was not forthcoming about the circumstances of the purchase,” Judge Mary Jane Bowes wrote in the state court’s opinion. “Even viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to Ms. Seltzer, no reasonable fact-finder could conclude that Ms. Seltzer acted with the good faith belief that she was permitted by law or by Acme’s policies to give Acme $10 in exchange for $4,150,000.”

Powerball, Mega Millions produces verified November winners

Fortunately, not every winning ticket devolves into chaos and controversy like Seltzer’s did. In November, a player named Mark from Allegheny County took home a million dollars in a Powerball drawing. Additionally, five other players from locations all across Pennsylvania won $50,000 prizes.

In Mega Millions drawings, three Pennsylvania players won $10,000 prizes in November.

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Holiday jackpots will bring Christmas cheer and lots of cash

And as noted by PlayPennsylvaniathe Mega Millions and Powerball drawings from this past weekend were set to provide a massive Christmas bonus if someone happened to purchase a winning ticket.

The Powerball jackpot on Saturday was up to $304 million, with a cash value of $236 million. Friday’s Mega Millions drawing was estimated at $310 million, with a cash value of $238 million.

In a handful of states, including Pennsylvania, draw lottery tickets are available for purchase online. There, notifications of winning tickets are automatic.

And the beauty of the multistate, massive jackpot lotteries is that someone will eventually win.

That’s what drives people to purchase tickets. And that’s what drove Beverlie Seltzer to step outside of bounds at her Acme store.

The reward often seems worth the risk.

Lead image via Dreamstime.

South Carolina Sells Mega Millions Winner, Time To Focus On Powerball

The record $1.6 billion jackpot in Mega Millions will not go to a PA Lottery player, but the more than $600 million Powerball prize is still up for grabs.

This wasn’t your grandma’s Mega Millions.

Well, it might have been. But if Grandma was putting down cash at the local gas station or joining a Powerball pool through the Sunday church group, she certainly wasn’t alone.

And unless she purchased her Mega Millions ticket in South Carolina, she’s also not a winner.

That’s right. There was a Mega Millions winner on Wednesday, a single ticket in South Carolina set to walk away with the full prize amount.

With a staggering $1.6 billion up for grabs,  plus a measly $620 million via Powerball, the potential Mega Millions payout had people (grandma included) going wild.

The odds of actually winning, of course, were about as staggering as the payouts themselves.

But that doesn’t change the fact that it was fun as all get out thinking of all the ways $2 billion-plus could be spent.

Our favorite?

3,830 Lamborghinis. Because why not?

But with the winner now announced and the record-breaking payout – a one-time cash option of $913.7 million – all-but paid out, there’s nothing left to do but fantasize about what could have been.

And ways to finance almost 4,000 Lamborghinis, bought in a fit of unfounded certainty.

The winning Mega Millions numbers

The numbers drawn were 5, 28, 62, 65 and 70. The Mega Ball was 5.

Only one person matched all the numbers to win the jackpot, according to Mega Millions.

A total of 36 tickets across the nation matched five of the six numbers for second-prize tickets.

“This is truly a historic occasion. We’re so happy for the winner, and we know the South Carolina Education Lottery can’t wait to meet the lucky ticket holder,” said Gordon Medenica, lead director of the Mega Millions group.

Forty-four states play home to Mega Millions, as well as Washington D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The unnamed winner beat 1 in 303 million odds to pull off their improbable victory.

But don’t fret if you’re not celebrating in South Carolina today. The Mega Millions jackpot resets for Friday’s drawing to $40 million.

Plus, the Powerball, that suddenly not-so-measly $620 million, might go to some lucky winner Wednesday night.

Why this really wasn’t Grandma’s Lottery

It was hard enough to win the lottery when grandma and the local church crew were buying tickets with pocket change.

Now, it’s as hard as it has ever been.

And not just because there is so much money and so many people buying in.

Nope. Turns out Mega Millions made changes earlier this year to feature bigger prizes (like $2 billion in payouts).

How did Mega Millions pull this off?

With the help of you, the ticket-buyer, of course. Who else would want a record-breaking jackpot or the ability to scan their ticket through the PA Lottery mobile app to find out if they’re a winner in real-time?

But they also did it by doubling ticket prices and offering longer odds.

“We have a demand for innovation to keep fresh, entertaining lottery games and to deliver the attention-grabbing jackpots,” Mega Millions President Debbie D. Alford said in a statement at the time announcing the move.

Prior to Tuesday, Mega Millions’ largest jackpot ever was $656 million.

Three tickets, sold in Illinois, Kansas, and Maryland, split the payout.

That was in March of 2012 and still stands as the fourth-largest lottery payout in U.S. history.

The other two belong to Powerball, one of which bears a striking resemblance to the current Mega Millions madness.

On Jan. 13, 2016, three tickets split a Powerball payout of … $1.6 billion.

Mega Millions and Powerball odds now worse than ever

But winning now isn’t as easy as it was then, despite the ease of the PA online lottery app.

The new design of Mega Millions decreases the number of white balls from 75 but increases the number of red balls by 10, so the odds of winning the jackpot increase from 1 in almost 259 million to 1 in about 303 million.

Overall, the chance of winning any prize went from 1 in 15 to 1 in 24 with the changes.

They also give players a better chance at the smaller payouts of $1 million for matching five white balls. And while no one’s turning their nose up at $1 million, it’s a far cry from what everyone (and your grandmother) really wanted: $1.6 billion.

How many billions are too many billions?

In terms of a potential payout? There’s no such thing.

Even the mega-minds behind Mega Millions were willing to let it ride.

Medenica was asked recently if the jackpot could reach $2 billion and answered with a resounding, “I’m not going to jinx it.”

Prior to the drawing on Tuesday, officials had been meeting daily to analyze ticket sales and see if an adjustment was necessary.

“If sales are running ahead, we may take the jackpot up another notch,” said Medenica.

But now, with the drawing complete and the prize paid out, it’s back to the drawing board and a boring, but respectable, $40 million jackpot (and a whole bunch of losers).