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In the world of Mega Millions, fascinating facts and incredible moments abound. Let's dive into the rich history and extraordinary achievements of this iconic lottery game.
The First Jackpot Winner: Mega Millions made an unforgettable debut with a jackpot winner in its very first drawing on May 17, 2002. A lucky ticket holder from Illinois claimed a remarkable $28 million prize.
A Rapid Second Win:Just one week later, Mega Millions saw its second jackpot winner, marking two jackpot victories within the first three draws. The excitement was truly infectious.
Counting the Jackpots: Since its inception in 2002, Mega Millions has awarded 212 jackpots, and these incredible wins have been celebrated by 238 individuals. Remarkably, 21 jackpots have been shared among two or more fortunate ticket holders.
A Billion-Dollar Club: Mega Millions has a reputation for big jackpots, with 29 of them surpassing $300 million. It proudly stands as the only lottery game to have bestowed five prizes of $1 billion or more. This includes two monumental wins in 2023, along with one each in 2018, 2021, and 2022. A new record was set on August 8, 2023, with a staggering $1.602 billion jackpot claimed in Florida.
Single-Ticket Triumph: The largest Mega Millions jackpot ever won on a single ticket stands at a mind-blowing $1.602 billion. Additional substantial single-ticket prizes include $1.537 billion (South Carolina, 2018), $1.348 billion (Maine, 2023), $1.337 billion (Illinois, 2022), $1.050 billion (Michigan, 2021), $543 million (California, 2018), $536 million (Indiana, 2016), and $533 million (New Jersey, 2018).
Friday the 13th Luck: Seven Mega Millions jackpots have been won on the superstitious date of Friday the 13th. Michigan had an especially fortunate streak with four of those wins (June 2008, May 2011, June 2014, and one shared with Rhode Island in October 2017). The second-largest Mega Millions prize to date, $1.348 billion, was won in Maine on Friday, January 13, 2023. Other Friday the 13th jackpots were secured in New York (March 2009) and Ohio (November 2015).
A National Impact: Mega Millions has made dreams come true across the nation, with jackpot wins in 28 different jurisdictions. This includes states like Arizona, California, Florida, New York, Texas, and many more.
Historic Wins in 2023: The year 2023 started with a bang, as Maine celebrated its very first Mega Millions jackpot win, a staggering $1.348 billion on January 13. The excitement continued with a $20 million win in the next drawing on January 17 in New York. Just two draws later, Massachusetts joined the celebration with a $33 million jackpot win on January 24. The historic month of January concluded with yet another jackpot win on January 31, again in Massachusetts, with a prize of $31 million. This marked the first time in the game's history that four jackpots were won in a single month.
A Remarkable Year: In 2023, Mega Millions witnessed a flurry of jackpot wins. New York secured its second jackpot of the year with a $483 million win on April 14. Remarkably, in the very next drawing on April 18, another New York ticket claimed a $20 million prize, marking the first time there have ever been jackpot winners in the same state in two consecutive drawings. A seventh jackpot was won in Florida on August 8, a monumental prize of $1.602 billion that set a new record for the game. Just two drawings later, a Florida ticket clinched another jackpot on August 15, this time worth $39 million. It's the first time since 2016 that as many as eight jackpots have been won in a single year!
Remarkable Wins in 2022: The year 2022 witnessed six impressive Mega Millions jackpot victories. The first was a $426 million prize won in California on January 28. Just 11 drawings later, the jackpot was won again, this time in New York on March 8 at $128 million. The third jackpot of the year, at $110 million, was secured in Minnesota on April 12, marking the state's first jackpot win. In the very next drawing, a Tennessee ticket won the $20 million jackpot on April 15. On July 29, a single Illinois ticket claimed a staggering $1.337 billion prize, the second-largest in the game's history. Finally, a $502 million jackpot was shared by winners in California and Florida on October 14.
Memorable Wins in 2021: In 2021, six captivating Mega Millions jackpots were awarded. The year started with a bang as Michigan celebrated a $1.05 billion prize on January 22, marking the second time the game exceeded the $1 billion mark. Two jackpots were claimed in New York: $96 million on February 16 and $431 million on September 21. The other jackpot wins included $516 million in Pennsylvania on May 21, $55 million in Illinois on June 8, and $108 million in Arizona on October 22.
Noteworthy Wins in 2020: In 2020, Mega Millions created history by granting two states their very first jackpot wins: a $414 million prize was claimed in Arizona on June 9, and $120 million was won in Wisconsin on September 15. Additionally, three other jackpots were awarded during the year, bringing the total to five. Two of these were secured in New Jersey ($202 million on February 11 and $123 million on July 24), while a California winner clinched a $22 million prize on July 31.
Jackpot Wins in 2019: Seven lucky winners celebrated jackpot victories in 2019. The year began with a remarkable $437 million prize on January 1, won by a group of 23 Long Island co-workers in New York. On March 1, New Jersey celebrated a $273 million jackpot, followed by a $50 million win in Missouri on March 12. California joined the ranks with a colossal $522 million jackpot victory on June 7. On July 23, New Hampshire marked its first Mega Millions jackpot win with a $168 million prize. Finally, Texas wrapped up the year with a $225 million jackpot on September 24.
Epic Wins in 2018: In 2018, Mega Millions awarded five significant jackpots. The year began with a bang as a Florida player celebrated a $451 million win on January 5. Just 11 drawings later, the jackpot was secured again, this time in New Jersey on March 30, with a prize of $533 million. On May 4, Minnesota celebrated its first jackpot winner with a $142 million prize. In the very next drawing, a Tennessee ticket won.