Remember the old jingle that went: “Oh thank Heaven / For Seven Eleven”? A California shopper may be humming that tune today. A lottery ticket worth over $651,000 was just sold at a California 7-Eleven store.
The winning ticket for the March 24, 2023 Mega Millions drawing matched all five of the white balls, but not the gold “Mega” ball. This lucky ticket instantly became worth $651,609.
Note that in other states, the second-level Mega Millions prize is an even $1 million. See below for a discussion on why the amounts differ in California.
Who won the jackpot?
This was a very recent drawing. As a result, no winning names have been released as of this writing.
What were the winning numbers?
The winning numbers for the March 24, 2023 Mega Millions drawing are shown in this video:
Where was the $651,000 Mega Millions ticket sold?
The lucky ticket was sold at 7-Eleven, a California convenience store. The location is shown in the following map:
How is Mega Millions different in California compared to other states?
The prize amounts for non-jackpot Mega Millions prizes in California can be different from those paid in other states. One reason is the way these prizes are calculated, which differs from other states. The other reason is an option available to players in all states except California.
Pari-mutuel prize calculations. California calculates prize amounts for all prizes, including non-jackpot prizes, according to pari-mutuel rules. The California Lottery explains:
“In California, Mega Millions prize amounts are pari-mutuel, will vary depending on ticket sales and number of winners and will differ from the fixed prizes shown on the Mega Millions website.”
In other states, the non-jackpot prizes are paid according to a fixed schedule. For example, the second-level Mega Millions prize in other states is $1 million. In California, recent second-level prizes have varied from $2,296,629 for the March 14, 2023 drawing to $215,711 on the next drawing on March 17, 2023.
No “Megaplier” option. Mega Millions is available in 45 states in the USA. California is the only one of these that does not offer the “Megaplier” option when purchasing a Mega Millions ticket. For an additional $1, the Megaplier will increase any non-jackpot prize by a factor of 2, 3, 4, or 5, depending on a separate draw.
California Mega Millions players do not have this option.
Would you spend $1 on the Megaplier if it was available?
If you buy your Mega Millions tickets in California, you do not have the same option available to other players in the USA. By adding $1 to the $2 Mega Millions ticket price, they can double, triple, or even quintuple any non-jackpot prizes. Let me know in the comments if you think California players should have this option as well.
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