Last Friday, an anonymous gambler from Illinois hit the Mega Millions jackpot for $1.28 billion. Ok, after taxes it was only $433.7 million, but it was still the third-largest jackpot in U.S. lottery history.
However, several Floridians secured life-changing scores in that same drawing.
According to the Florida Lottery, five Florida gamblers won at least $1 million in the drawing. All five players picked the five white ball numbers but missed the Mega Ball number, which would’ve given them a share of the jackpot.
Two players win $1 million, while three take home $2 million
The five Florida natives accounted for nearly 20 percent of the 26 second-tier winners, just one number away from a share of the jackpot.
The other 21 winners came from Arkansas, California, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin.
The winners were located all over the Sunshine State. The players bought tickets in the Florida Panhandle, the Orlando area, South Florida and near Tampa Bay.
Players bought the $1 million winning tickets here:
- A Cumberland Farms location in Jensen Beach
- A Sebring Truck Stop in Sebring
$2 million tickets were sold here:
- A Big Boss Store location in Defuniak Springs
- A Publix in Kissimmee
- A Winn Dixie in Palm Harbor
The holders of these winning tickets have 180 days from Friday to claim their money.
Mega Millions generated nine-figures worth of education funding
Since Florida joined the group of states in the Mega Millions pool in 2013, the game has generated more than $817.9 million for public education. It also awarded more than $806.2 million in prizes to Florida lottery players.
Since its inception in 1988, the Florida Lottery contributed more than $42 billion to the state’s education fund. Additionally, it helped send more than 917,000 Florida students to college by funding the Bright Futures Scholarship Program.
Officials hold Mega Millions drawings twice a week with winning numbers chosen every Tuesday and Friday. The top prize for yesterday’s drawing was reset to $20 million after the near-record jackpot was hit last week.
Nobody hit Tuesday’s jackpot, which jumped to $36 million for the next drawing on Friday.