The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

December 13, 2013

Mega Millions jackpot tops $400 million

By Rick Dandes
The Daily Item

LEWISBURG — SUNBURY — Someone could be in for the holiday season of a lifetime — if they can defy the odds and pick all six numbers in tonight’s Mega Millions lottery game.

All players have to do to win the more than $400 million jackpot is beat the 250 million to 1 odds by picking five numbers from a field of 75 and one Mega ball number from 1 to 15.

Jeffrey Williams, of Sunbury, playing at a local smoke shop, said his attitude is pretty typical of what others think. “Somebody is going to win eventually,” he said with a sly grin on his face. “If I don’t play, it sure won’t be me. All you need is a lot ... a huge amount of luck I should say.”

The Mega Millions jackpot grew to an estimated $400 million for tonight’s draw after no one won the top prize of $344 million on Tuesday evening.

If the winner chose to take a cash prize instead of an annuity, it would amount to $216 million, according to the Mega Millions website, www.megamillions.com. If a Pennsylvania player wins, it would be the largest jackpot ever won in the commonwealth, according to Lauren Piccolo, a spokesman for the lottery.

Here are Pennsylvania’s top 5 lottery winners:

1. $115.5 million, shared by 11 people (game: Super 7), April 26, 1989.

2. $110.2 million, Steve and Kristine White, Skillman, N.J. (Powerball), May 8, 2004.

3. $107.5 million, The SEPTA 48, Philadelphia (Powerball), April 25, 2012.

4. $93.4 million, WLT Trust. Beneficiaries: Florence Ayers, of Harmony, Butler County; son, James Ayers, of Mars, Butler County; and daughter, Sharon Kreindel, of Beachwood, Ohio, (Powerball), Dec. 8, 2004.

5. $86.2 million, Robert Shemonski family of Montgomery County (Super 6), Dec. 1, 1999.

No one has won the Mega Millions jackpot in more than two months, pushing the purse steadily higher, although it remains well below the record-setting $656 million won on March 30, 2012.