The Mega Millions jackpot had not been claimed since a 16-member syndicate from New York matched the winning line on 24th March to grab $58 million. The top prize has now been won for just the fourth time this year after a player from Illinois struck lucky on Tuesday night. The ticket was bought at a supermarket in Blue Island, a suburb of Chicago, and is the second-largest prize in Illinois Lottery history after the $270 million picked up by Jesus Davila of Naperville on 16th January this year.
The winning Powerball ticket for Wednesday’s draw was purchased by a player from Arizona, but anyone tuning in to watch the live broadcast of the numbers coming out was kept waiting by technical problems. As the ball machine remained silent in the background, presenter Sam Arlen told viewers: “Sometimes our own rules require that the drawing be delayed until we can make sure all procedures have been followed." The draw took place later in the evening under supervision and viewers were encouraged to check the results online or through their usual outlets.
Meanwhile, a Powerball player who won $136 million on 14th March is set to be presented with his check in New York on Thursday morning. Lottery officials will reveal his identity at the ceremony but they have already disclosed some details of his story, saying that he is a plumber from Staten Island who had unknowingly left his winning ticket fastened to his basement wall behind a pipe for six weeks.
The plumber’s tale is a reminder to always keep a close eye on your lottery tickets, and players of Powerball and Mega Millions are sure to have their entries stored in a safe place ahead of the next draws as they hope to follow in the footsteps of this week’s two big winners.