Mega Millions jackpot on Friday worth close to record $1 billion
TRENTON — New Jersey is in a very good position to be where a Mega Millions ticket that wins an annuity jackpot of nearly $1 billion could be sold.
The multi-state game's jackpot as of Thursday afternoon had an annuity value of $970 million, which will likely grow again before the drawing Friday at 11 p.m.
Deputy Director John White said a combination of sales the interest rate on U.S. Treasury Notes helps it grow.
It is the second largest jackpot ever available in U.S. lottery history and could exceed the $1.3 billion Powerball jackpot won in 2016. The cash value is $548 million.
White said that as of late Thursday afternoon, over $500,000 worth of Mega Millions tickets had been sold for Friday night's drawing. New Jersey account for nearly 6 percent of the game's total sales, or 1 in 20 tickets sold.
Since the last Mega Millions jackpot winner on July 24, 1.28 million winning tickets worth $7,076,654 have been sold in New Jersey.
New Jersey had two big jackpot winners so far this year: a Mega Millions ticket worth $330 million played by Richard Wahl, of Vernon, was won in April while Tayeb Souami from Little Ferry was the winner of a jackpot with annuity value of $315 million in May.
The highest number of tickets sold are in towns along the Route 1 and 130 corridor but sales are very brisk throughout the state, according to White.
The deputy director is a diplomat when asked to name the state's luckiest county.
"They're all very lucky. I always hear that certain counties do better than others but over time it all evens out. All the counties have a lot of winners given time," White said.
The Powerball jackpot is also very large with an annuity value of $430 million ($248 million cash) for Saturday night.