Mega Millions winner sold in New York

March 26, 2011 8:21:13 PM PDT
A New York lottery official says a winning ticket for the Mega Millions lottery jackpot worth $312 million has been sold at a variety store in Albany, N.Y. The winning numbers in Friday's drawing were: 22-24-31-52-54, with a Mega ball of 4.

The final sales numbers pushed the annuity value of the prize to $319 million, with a cash value of $202.9 million, for the drawing that includes 41 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

New York Lottery spokeswoman Carolyn Hapeman says the winning jackpot ticket was sold at Coulson's News Center in Albany.

The store is just blocks from the New York Capitol building.

The phone rang non-stop Saturday morning, and a steady stream of customers passed through the newsstand and magazine shop to get coffee, the daily paper and, of course, lottery tickets, as word spread that the store sold the fifth-largest jackpot in Mega Millions history.

Store manager Steve Gallucci said lottery sales were up this week with the skyrocketing jackpot, but he didn't know yet who won. He expects to find out Monday from gaming officials.

"A lot of office people come in," he said. "A lot of regulars."

Coulson's, which opened in 1895, sits on a broad avenue across the street from the massive Gothic-style D&H Railroad's former headquarters and just around the corner from Jack's Oyster House, a storied restaurant where Albany's power brokers have for decades wandered down the hill from the ornate Capitol to cut deals over dinner and drinks.

The newsstand, with an unremarkable storefront adorned with signs advertising beer, cigarettes and other standard convenience store fare, is a regular stop for state employees who dominate the work force here.

Gallucci said the store had a $3.5 million state Lotto winner before, but nothing this big.

He said he has no preference who he hoped would win.

"I just hope it is somebody who's going to use the money in a good way," he said.

Hapeman says the earliest the winner or winners can claim the prize is Monday, because lottery offices are closed for the weekend.

There's word now that seven state workers bought the winning ticket and will share the $319 million dollar prize.

The Mega Millions jackpot had been growing since February 1, the last time that someone won.

The jackpot rolled over 13 times without a winner.

The odds of winning the jackpot are approximately one in 176 million. The odds of winning any of the Mega Millions prizes are approximately 1 in 40.

According to the Mega Millions website, Friday's jackpot is the sixth-highest in the game's history. The largest jackpot was $390 million in March 2007.

This is the second-highest jackpot for a single winning ticket behind a $315 million jackpot in November 2005. That ticket was purchased in California.

You can watch the Mega Millions drawing Tuesdays and Fridays on Channel 7, right before Eyewitness News at 11.