March Madness: Three New PA Lottery Millionaires So Far This Month

Three PA Lottery players have collectively won more than $7.5 million from lotto games including Powerball and Cash 5 so far this March.

March Madness has hit the PA Lottery.

This past week, Pennsylvania’s state lottery delivered three jackpots worth a combined $7.5 million. The biggest victory was a $4.15 million Match 6 ticket sold in Doylestown, Bucks County.

That ticket matched all six winning numbers (20-21-28-35-36-45) to win the massive jackpot.

The winner will remain unknown until the prize is claimed and the ticket is verified.

PA Lottery presents record-breaking Cash 5 check

In contrast, the big winner in Berwick stepped into the spotlight this week. Columbia County resident Luther Coleman Jr. received a commemorative check worth almost $2.5 million.

A Sheetz in Coleman’s hometown sold the record-breaking ticket worth $2,488,733. The jackpot was the highest in the nearly 27-year history of the game. Cash 5 is the Pennsylvania Lottery’s longest-running jackpot game.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to congratulate the winner of this historic jackpot,” Pennsylvania Lottery Executive Director Drew Svitko said in the state lottery’s press release.

Coleman, who has worked at a nuclear power plant in Berwick for more than 31 years, said that he’s a frequent player of lottery games.

Lottery jackpot arrives on a whim

According to the release, on the day of the record Cash 5 contest, Coleman said he made his usual stop at Sheetz. He purchased items inside the store that left him with $1 and change.

Even though he had previously bought some tickets for the Cash 5 drawing that night, he decided to use that remaining dollar to buy another one at a machine outside the store.

Some players encountered problems with lottery machines on the day of the Cash 5 contest, but Coleman had no such trouble. He bought a $1 Quick Pick ticket that turned into the Cash 5 jackpot winner.

“When someone hears a story that I went out and bought the ticket with a $1 Quick Pick, you have to say that it can happen,” Coleman said. “My joke was that I was hoping to get my retirement package out of the machine. Lo and behold, it happened.”

Cash 5 adds to impressive total for Sheetz

The Cash 5 win was also a highlight for Sheetz, which earns a $10,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket.

“This is one of the largest tickets ever sold from a Sheetz store location and continues a streak of good luck for our customers, who won over $124 million in lottery cash prizes in 2018,” said Sheetz AVP of Brand Strategies Ryan Sheetz.

Sheetz has 274 locations across Pennsylvania, each of which offers customers lottery-based terminal games and a number of instant lottery options as well.

Philly’s million-dollar Powerball ticket

Another big lottery win arrived near Philadelphia, at the ShopRite in Roxborough.

The ticket correctly matched all five white balls drawn in the March 16 contest (30-34-39-53-67). However, the ticket missed the red Powerball 11. That was still good enough to net $1 million less applicable withholding.

The winner, who is still unknown, will have one year from the drawing date to claim the prize. Lottery players are reminded to check every ticket, every time.

One easy way to chek your draw games tickets is to down the PA online lottery mobile app. One of its many features is a ticket scanner.

Jackpot wins provide bright spot for PA Lottery

The trio of jackpots provides some positive public relations for a PA Lottery system facing a great deal of pressure.

The state lottery, which funnels all of its proceeds to programs that support the state’s older residents, is navigating a new ruling by the US Justice Department. Said ruling redefines the scope of the federal Wire Act. That ruling has raised concerns about the lottery’s interstate backup system in Georgia.

The lottery’s revenue projections were also a point of contention at a recent meeting for the state’s Senate Appropriations Committee. Some members of the committee worried the lottery’s expectations were overly optimistic, which could create budget shortfalls in the future.

Those issues will certainly be addressed at a later date. For now, the lottery – and its players – can soak up the sunshine provided by these big wins.

Record Cash 5 Jackpot Marred By PA Lottery’s Tech Woes

The $2.4 million Cash 5 jackpot wasn’t entirely good news for the PA Lottery, which had to deal with both machine and app outages on drawing day.

The largest jackpot in Cash 5 history has a winner. Though that did not happen without a bit of controversy.

Leading up to the Pennsylvania Lottery drawing for a record-breaking $2,488,733 prize, many state residents experienced difficulty in obtaining tickets for the drawing last Friday.

Some even took to Twitter to air their complaints. In response to these individual messages, the PA Lottery tweeted:

PA Lottery problems ahead of drawing

As KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh reported, many Pennsylvanians could not purchase tickets for much of the day last Friday.

Jeffrey Johnson, a spokesman for the PA Lottery, told the station an outage occurred due to connectivity issues with Verizon cellular service at several terminals around the state.

In addition to lottery terminals being down, there were also outages on the PA Lottery online app. The ticket checker feature was out of service for a similar period of time.

According to KDKA-TV, the Department of Revenue became aware of the outages around 8 a.m. By 3 p.m., Johnson said, the issues were resolved.

One ticket hits Cash 5 jackpot

The PA Lottery announced Monday that more than 156,300 Cash 5 tickets won prizes from Friday’s drawing. None bigger, though, than one sold in Columbia County.

The more-than $2.4 million jackpot, the largest in the 27-year history of Cash 5, had accrued since Feb. 22. The winner bought the ticket from the convenience store Sheetz in Berwick. The store receives a $10,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket.

The winning numbers are:

5-6-10-12-15

“We’re thrilled that the largest jackpot in Cash 5 history created a big winner,” Drew Svitko, executive director of the PA Lottery, said in a statement. “Friday’s historic drawing also produced more than 156,000 other Cash 5 winners all across Pennsylvania.”

There was only a single winning ticket, so the lucky player gets the entirety of the jackpot.

Signup Now and get $5 Free Play at PA iLottery!

$150K Powerball also awarded

The day after the winning Cash 5 ticket hit, one Powerball ticket in Delaware County matched four of the five white balls drawn and the red Powerball to win $150,000.

Without the $1 Power Play option, per the PA Lottery, the prize would have been a mere $50,000.

The vendor of the winning ticket, Dutton Mill Beverage in Aston, earned a $500 bonus.

Powerball jackpot gets bigger and bigger

Meanwhile, the Powerball jackpot continues to build. The aforementioned PA Lottery player nabbed a nice prize, but no one matched every ball to take the estimated $414 million jackpot.

The estimated annuity value for Wednesday’s drawing stands at $448 million. Winners can also opt for the lump sum of $271.7 million cash. The prize is the 17th-largest lottery jackpot ever.

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).