Could the next Mega Millions winner be from Forsyth County?

Kimberly Bond

(FORSYTH COUNTY, GA) At the RaceTrac gas station near Market Place Boulevard in Cumming, a cashier named Ridge is ringing up soft drinks, frozen yogurt, and other favorite gas station snacks as usual. But one item has seen a sudden surge in popularity.

“We’re selling hundreds of dollars in lottery tickets,” Ridge shared. “Way more than normal. It’s been insane,” he added.

The reason for this sudden surge in state-sanctioned gambling? The Mega Millions top prize, which catapulted to $1.02 billion after no ticket matched all six numbers drawn on Tuesday night. Something about the jackpot crossing the billion-dollar mark seems to make people want to try their luck.

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Local gas stations are seeing a big increase in sales of Mega Millions tickets, which each cost $2.(Photo/Getty Images)

Mega Millions is a multi-state lottery with drawings each Tuesday and Friday at 11:00 pm Eastern time. It advertises nine levels of prizes that ticket holders begin winning by matching the “Mega Ball” number. The payout grows with each number matched. A winning ticket for this Friday’s jackpot must exactly match the Mega Ball and five more numbers that will be drawn.

If someone wins this Friday, it will be the third-largest jackpot amount Mega Millions has ever awarded. There was a $1.05 billion jackpot in 2021 that four players in Michigan won, and a $1.537 billion jackpot in 2018 for a South Carolina ticket.

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A record-breaking jackpot inspires people to purchase Mega Millions tickets despite the steep odds.(Photo/Getty Images)

Could a Forsyth County resident be the next big winner? Maybe, but it’s not likely. Experts estimate that the chance of a single ticket striking it rich is only 1 in 302.5 million.

If a ticket does win the big prize, the winner won’t become an instant billionaire. Many lottery winners opt for a lump-sum cash payment - this Friday's drawing would be worth $602.5 million. If the winner chooses the full prize amount, it is instead paid as an annuity in 30 installments over 29 years. Plus, the prize money will be taxed as income, making the government the only party sure to get a share.

If you still want to give it a try, make sure you fill out the information on the back of the ticket and sign it in case it gets lost. If you do wind up with a few lucky numbers, you can collect Mega Millions prizes up to $600 from any retailer that sells Mega Millions tickets by bringing your ticket to the store.

What would you do if you won the lottery? Comment below or email us at kbondwriter@gmail.com to let us know!

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I'm a writer, editor, and journalist with a background in law and science. I love writing about interesting local places and events in Forsyth County, especially new businesses or family-friendly experiences.

Cumming, GA
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