One New Jersey ticket is sole winner of $1.13 billion Mega Millions jackpot

Home » One New Jersey ticket is sole winner of $1.13 billion Mega Millions jackpot

Largest lottery jackpot ever won in the Garden State


By Todd Northrop


After a run of 30 drawings without a jackpot winner, the 31st drawing of the multi-state Mega Millions game produced a single $1.13 billion winner last night when one lottery ticket sold in New Jersey matched all five numbers plus the Mega Ball.


It was the 10th time a lottery jackpot had grown to more than $1 billion, and the ninth time a single ticket won $1 billion or more.


For New Jersey, it is by far the largest lottery jackpot ever won in the state. The previous record-holder in the state was almost exactly six years ago, on Mar. 30, 2018, when one ticket sold in New Jersey won a $533 million Mega Millions jackpot. The jackpot was later claimed by Richard Wahl, a production manager at a northern New Jersey food services facility.


The winner of the unimaginable haul from last night’s drawing will choose between being paid $1.13 billion in 30 annually-increasing payments over 29 years or the lump-sum cash value of $525.8 million.


The whopping jackpot is the 8th-largest the world has ever seen, and the 5th-largest in Mega Millions game history.


According to USA Mega’s Mega Millions Jackpot Analysis, after all taxes are paid, the winner either will receive $591.7 million by the end of 29 years, or $280.9 million in cash all at once. New Jersey has one of the highest state taxes in the country, forcing lottery winners to shell out a whopping 10.7% of their prize for the privilege of winning in the state.


However, both annuity and cash jackpot values are still estimates, and according to a statement released by the Mega Millions group, the actual number may turn out to be larger once all sales are accounted for.


Per New Jersey law, the winner has one year from the date of the drawing to come forward to claim the prize. The location of where the winning ticket was sold was not immediately available, and we will update the story when it is announced.


The Mega Millions winning numbers for Tuesday, March 26, 2024, were 7, 11, 22, 29, and 38, with Mega Ball number 4. The Megaplier was 2.


It’s hard to imagine the winner getting much sleep Tuesday night, as they try to process winning such an unimaginably huge lottery jackpot awarded to a single ticket — the one they’re holding in their hand.


Millions of lottery players in the USA and around the world are wondering what they are planning to do with all that loot.


What is the first thing you would do?


(Here’s what we would do.)


The public will likely never find out the identity of the winner, as New Jersey passed a lottery winner anonymity law in 2020.


Lottery Post maintains a list of every state’s anonymity policies for lottery winners, and Lottery Post published a comprehensive video presentation about each state’s anonymity laws.


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, 13 lucky players matched the first 5 numbers for a $1,000,000 prize: 1 from California, 1 from Colorado, 2 from Florida, 2 from Georgia, 1 from Illinois, 1 from Indiana, 1 from Michigan, 3 from New York, and 1 from Ohio.


Only one of the second prize-winning tickets — the ticket sold in New York — was purchased with the Megaplier option for an extra $1, multiplying their prize to $2 million because the Megaplier number 2 was drawn.


The California second prize winner will claim a prize of $1,058,180 because unlike all the other Mega Millions states, California awards all prizes on a pari-mutuel basis, meaning the prizes will change each drawing based on the number of tickets sold and the number of tickets that won at each prize level.


171 tickets matched four white numbers plus the Mega Ball and won $10,000. Of those tickets, 34 were purchased with the Megaplier option, increasing the prize to $20,000, and 24 were sold in California, where the prize was $6,108 this drawing.


In total, nearly 3.7 million tickets won prizes across the game’s nine prize tiers in Tuesday’s drawing. Apart from the jackpot, there were $34 million in prizes awarded last night.


A complete list of payouts for all prizes and the official drawing video can be found at USA Mega’s Mega Millions Drawing Information page, as well as at Lottery Post’s Mega Millions Prize Payouts page.


The record-holder for the world’s largest lottery jackpot was a $2.04 billion Powerball jackpot in Nov. 2022, won by a single ticket sold in California. The incredibly lucky winner was Edwin Castro, who claimed the prize in February of 2023, providing minimal public information about himself.  What little is known about Castro comes from public filings, and includes the purchase of a house or two, as well as being the subject of dubious lawsuits that are unfortunately predictable these days. 


The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are 1 in 302.6 million.


With the jackpot being won Tuesday, the next Mega Millions annuity jackpot estimate for Friday’s drawing is reset to its starting point of $20 million.


Mega Millions is currently offered for sale in 45 states, plus Washington, D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Drawings are Tuesdays and Fridays at 11:00 pm Eastern Time. Tickets cost $2 each.


The Mega Millions winning numbers are published at USA Mega (www.usamega.com) minutes after the drawing takes place.


Top 25 United States lottery jackpots of all time


Tuesday’s $1.13 billion Mega Millions jackpot stands as the 8th-largest lottery jackpot of all time in the United States — and the world.


The current $865 million Powerball jackpot is also highlighted below, illustrating the target lottery players will next turn their attention to.


  1. Powerball: $2.0401 billion, Nov. 7, 2022 (40 rollovers, starting at $20 million) – California

  2. Powerball: $1.7649 billion, Oct. 11, 2023 (35 rollovers, starting at $20 million) – California

  3. Mega Millions: $1.602 billion, Aug. 8, 2023 (31 rollovers, starting at $20 million) – Florida

  4. Powerball: $1.5864 billion, Jan. 13, 2016 (19 rollovers, starting at $40 million) – California, Florida, Tennessee

  5. Mega Millions: $1.537 billion, Oct. 23, 2018 (25 rollovers, starting at $40 million) – South Carolina

  6. Mega Millions: $1.348 billion, Jan. 13, 2023 (25 rollovers, starting at $20 million) – Maine

  7. Mega Millions: $1.337 billion, Jul. 29, 2022 (29 rollovers, starting at $20 million) – Illinois

  8. Mega Millions: $1.13 billion, Mar. 26, 2024 (30 rollovers, starting at $20 million) – New Jersey

  9. Powerball: $1.0798 billion, Jul. 19, 2023 (38 rollovers, starting at $20 million) – California

  10. Mega Millions: $1.05 billion, Jan. 22, 2021 (36 rollovers, starting at $20 million) – Michigan

  11. Powerball: $865 million, Mar. 27, 2024 (35 rollovers, starting at $20 million) – Preliminary estimate, not won yet

  12. Powerball: $842.4 million, Jan. 1, 2024 (34 rollovers, starting at $20 million) – Michigan

  13. Powerball: $768.4 million, Mar. 27, 2019 (25 rollovers, starting at $40 million) – Wisconsin

  14. Powerball: $758.7 million, Aug. 23, 2017 (20 rollovers, starting at $40 million) – Massachusetts

  15. Powerball: $754.6 million, Feb. 6, 2023 (33 rollovers, starting at $20 million) – Washington

  16. Powerball: $731.1 million, Jan. 20, 2021 (35 rollovers, starting at $20 million) – Maryland

  17. Powerball: $699.8 million, Oct. 4, 2021 (40 rollovers, starting at $20 million) – California

  18. Powerball: $687.8 million, Oct. 27, 2018 (21 rollovers, starting at $40 million) – Iowa, New York

  19. Mega Millions: $656 million, Mar. 30, 2012 (18 rollovers, starting at $12 million) – Illinois, Kansas, Maryland

  20. Mega Millions: $648 million, Dec. 17, 2013 (21 rollovers, starting at $12 million) – California, Georgia

  21. Powerball: $632.6 million, Jan 5, 2022 (39 rollovers, starting at $20 million) – California, Wisconsin

  22. Powerball: $590.5 million, May 18, 2013 (13 rollovers, starting at $40 million) – Florida

  23. Powerball: $587.5 million, Nov. 28, 2012 (15 rollovers, starting at $40 million) – Arizona, Missouri

  24. Powerball: $564.1 million, Feb. 11, 2015 (20 rollovers, starting at $40 million) – North Carolina, Puerto Rico, Texas

  25. Powerball: $559.7 million, Jan. 6, 2018 (20 rollovers, starting at $40 million) – New Hampshire


For those keeping score, the number of jackpots in the top 25, by lottery game, are:


  • Powerball: 17

  • Mega Millions: 8


Top 25 cash value jackpots


The Tuesday Mega Millions jackpot ranks as the 11th-largest cash value in world history.


  1. Powerball: $997.6 million cash, Nov. 7, 2022 ($2.0401 billion annuity) – California

  2. Powerball: $983.5 million cash, Jan. 13, 2016 ($1.5864 billion annuity) – California, Florida, Tennessee

  3. Mega Millions: $877.8 million cash, Oct. 23, 2018 ($1.537 billion annuity) – South Carolina

  4. Mega Millions: $794.2 million cash, Aug. 8, 2023 ($1.602 billion annuity) – Florida

  5. Mega Millions: $780.5 million cash, Jul. 29, 2022 ($1.337 billion annuity) – Illinois

  6. Mega Millions: $776.6 million cash, Jan. 22, 2021 ($1.05 billion annuity) – Michigan

  7. Powerball: $774.1 million cash, Oct. 11, 2023 ($1.7649 billion annuity) – California

  8. Mega Millions: $723.5 million cash, Jan. 13, 2023 ($1.348 billion annuity) – Maine

  9. Powerball: $558.1 million cash, Jul. 19, 2023 ($1.0798 billion annuity) – California

  10. Powerball: $546.8 million cash, Jan. 20, 2021 ($731.1 million annuity) – Maryland

  11. Mega Millions: $525.8 million cash, Mar. 26, 2024 ($1.13 billion annuity) – New Jersey

  12. Powerball: $496 million cash, Oct. 4, 2021 ($699.8 million annuity) – California

  13. Powerball: $480.5 million cash, Aug. 23, 2017 ($758.7 million annuity) – Massachusetts

  14. Powerball: $477 million cash, Mar. 27, 2019 ($768.4 million annuity) – Wisconsin

  15. Mega Millions: $471 million cash, Mar. 30, 2012 ($656 million annuity) – Illinois, Kansas, Maryland

  16. Powerball: $450.2 million cash, Jan. 5, 2022 ($632.6 million annuity) – California, Wisconsin

  17. Powerball: $425.2 million cash, Jan. 1, 2024 ($842.4 million annuity) – Michigan

  18. Powerball: $416.1 million cash, Mar. 27, 2024 ($865 million annuity) – Preliminary estimate, not won yet

  19. Powerball: $407.2 million cash, Feb. 6, 2023 ($754.6 million annuity) – Washington

  20. Powerball: $396.2 million cash, Oct. 27, 2018 ($687.8 million annuity) – Iowa, New York

  21. Powerball: $384.7 million cash, Nov. 28, 2012 ($587.5 million annuity) – Arizona, Missouri

  22. Powerball: $381.1 million cash, Feb. 11, 2015 ($564.1 million annuity) – North Carolina, Puerto Rico, Texas

  23. Mega Millions: $378 million cash, Jul. 8, 2016 ($536 million annuity) – Indiana

  24. Powerball: $370.9 million cash, May 18, 2013 ($590.5 million annuity) – Florida

  25. Powerball: $352 million cash, Jan. 6, 2018 ($559.7 million annuity) – New Hampshire


The number of cash value jackpots in the top 25, by lottery game, are:


  • Powerball: 17

  • Mega Millions: 8

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