Tommy's Tobacco in Imperial Beach sold a Mega Millions number to one Michael Lange, who came forward Wednesday afternoon to claim $308,000 after matching 5 or the 6 numbers. Elena Gomez spoke to Patrick Fitzsimmons, probability professor at UCSD about the likelihood of winning this $500 million jackpot.
The Mega Millions lottery jackpot soars to $500 million for Friday night's drawing, after no one matched all six numbers Tuesday night.
Tuesday's winning numbers were: 9 - 19 - 34 - 44 - 51, with the mega number 24. That jackpot was $363 million, fed by weeks of drawings without a top winner.
There were 47 tickets that matched five of the six numbers. One of those tickets, worth at least $308,000, was bought at Tommy's Tobacco in Imperial Beach.
"Everyone sells lotto, but a lot of people come here because they consider it a lucky store for them," said the store's owner.
Now, the jackpot will be worth $500 million breaking the record $390 million that was split by two winners in New Jersey and Georgia in 2007.
If someone were to win the new $500 million jackpot, he or she has an estimated cash option payout of $341.4 million, according to a news release posted on the California's lottery website.
It's not just players paying attention. The retailer who sells the lucky ticket will receive a maximum bonus of $1 million, according to the lottery's news release.
Mega Millions is played in more than 40 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Chances of winning the pot are about 1 in 176,000,000.