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World's biggest lottery jackpot won by three tickets

Mar 31, 2012, 8:56 am

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Mega Millions

Winning Mega Millions lottery tickets sold in Illinois, Kansas, Maryland

Final jackpot total of $656 million will be split three ways

How would you react if you won?

By Todd Northrop

The largest lottery jackpot the world has ever seen has been won Friday night by three tickets sold in Illinois, Kansas, and Maryland.

Since early Wednesday morning, the Mega Millions lottery jackpot was raised three times in as many days, and by the time all the sales were totalled at draw time, the jackpot stood at a faint-inducing $656 million.

The Mega Millions winning numbers for Friday, March 30, 2012, were 2, 4, 23, 38, and 46, with Mega Ball number 23. The Megaplier number was 3.

Friday's Mega Millions jackpot was the accumulation of 18 consecutive drawings without a grand prize winner over a two-month stretch. The final jackpot tally utterly decimated the previous world-record jackpot of $390 million, which has been held by the Mega Millions game since March, 2007.

Three winners probably got very little sleep Friday night, as they try to process winning the world's largest lottery jackpot.

Are the winners running around the house screaming? Are they calling their family? Or maybe calling their boss to quit their job? What are they planning to do with all that loot?

What is the first thing you would do?

The Maryland Lottery reported that the winning ticket sold in that state was purchased at a 7-11 store in Milford, Baltimore County.  In Maryland, winners have the option of remaining anonymous.

"This is truly remarkable and historic," said Maryland Lottery Director Stephen Martino. "We can't wait to greet the winner of this world-record setting jackpot."

The person holding the winning Maryland ticket purchased it at 7:15 pm Friday night, buying just one quick pick ticket.

The Illinois winning ticket was sold at the Red Bud Motomart on South Main Street in Red Bud.  It was a quick pick.

The location of the store selling the winning ticket in Kansas has not yet been released, but the Kansas Lottery indicated that the winning ticket was sold in the northeast region.

Fortunately, even if you didn't win the jackpot, the Mega Millions game still offers another 8 ways to win lower-tier prizes.

In addition to the jackpot winner, a whopping 161 lucky players matched the first 5 numbers, but not the Mega Ball, for a $250,000 prize: 3 from Arizona, 1 from Arkansas, 29 from California, 2 from Colorado, 1 from Connecticut, 1 from Delaware, 6 from Georgia, 2 from Idaho, 12 from Illinois, 1 from Indiana, 1 from Kansas, 4 from Kentucky, 2 from Louisiana, 4 from Maryland, 5 from Massachusetts, 6 from Michigan, 4 from Minnesota, 1 from Missouri, 5 from New Jersey, 1 from New Mexico, 17 from New York, 4 from North Carolina, 10 from Ohio, 1 from Oklahoma, 5 from Pennsylvania, 1 from Rhode Island, 1 from South Carolina, 1 from South Dakota, 2 from Tennessee, 14 from Texas, 5 from Virginia, 5 from Washington, 1 from West Virginia, and 3 from Wisconsin.

The 29 California winners will each be awarded prizes of $227,955 because California awards all prizes in a pari-mutuel formula, which calculates the prize amount based on the number of tickets sold and the number of winners in each prize category.

Top 25 United States lottery jackpots of all time

After all the proceeds were counted, Friday's $656 million Mega Millions jackpot stood as the largest lottery jackpot of all time in the United States — by far.

  1. Mega Millions: $656 million, Mar. 30, 2012 - Illinois, Kansas, Maryland
  2. Mega Millions: $390 million, Mar. 6, 2007 - Georgia, New Jersey
  3. Mega Millions: $380 million, Jan. 4, 2011 - Idaho, Washington
  4. Powerball: $365 million, Feb. 18, 2006 - Nebraska
  5. The Big Game: $363 million, May 9, 2000 - Illinois, Michigan
  6. Powerball: $340 million, Oct. 19, 2005 - Oregon
  7. Powerball: $336.4 million, Feb. 11, 2012 - Rhode Island
  8. Mega Millions: $336 million, Aug. 28, 2009 - California, New York
  9. The Big Game: $331 million, Apr. 16, 2002 - Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey
  10. Mega Millions: $330 million, Aug. 31, 2007 - Maryland, New Jersey, Texas, Virginia
  11. Mega Millions: $319 million, Mar. 25, 2011 - New York
  12. Mega Millions: $315 million, Nov. 15, 2005 - California
  13. Powerball: $314.9 million, Dec. 26, 2002 - West Virgina
  14. Powerball: $314.3 million, Aug. 25, 2007 - Indiana
  15. Powerball: $295.7 million, Jul. 29, 1998 - Indiana
  16. Powerball: $295 million, Aug. 25, 2001 - Delaware, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Hampshire
  17. Mega Millions: $294 million, Jul. 2, 2004 - Massachusetts
  18. Powerball: $276.3 million, Mar. 15, 2008 - West Virgina
  19. Mega Millions: $275 million, Feb. 22, 2008 - Georgia
  20. Mega Millions: $270 million, Feb. 28, 2006 - Ohio
  21. Mega Millions: $266 million, May 4, 2010 - California
  22. Mega Millions: $265 million, Apr. 18, 2006 - Ohio
  23. Powerball: $261.6 million, Jun. 2, 2010 - Ohio
  24. Powerball: $261.3 million, Jul. 9, 2003 - Missouri, Pennsylvania
  25. Powerball: $259.9 million, Aug. 19, 2009 - South Carolina

Story Updated, 1:45 pm: The jackpot has been updated in the story to reflect the final tally of $656 million, which was not available until the proceeds from each state were calculated.

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