- The Washington Times - Friday, January 22, 2021

Just two days after the fifth-biggest lottery win in U.S. history, Mega Millions officials drew Friday for a $1 billion jackpot, which would be the third-biggest prize in U.S. history.

The winning numbers were 4-26-42-50-60, with the Mega Ball being 24.

The drawing came two nights after a ticket sold in the Appalachian region of western Maryland won a $731 million Powerball game.

Both games had been going on for months without a jackpot winner, pushing the top prizes into historic proportions.

Until Wednesday, the last Powerball jackpot winner had been on Sept. 16, and the last Mega Millions top prize was won the day before.

The $1 billion prize, if won Friday, would trail only two prizes ever in U.S. lotteries.

The Oct. 23, 2018, Mega Millions game had one winner get $1.537 billion, the most valuable ticket in U.S. history. The biggest prize came in the Jan. 13, 2016, Powerball game, in which the $1.586 billion jackpot was split among three tickets.

If taken in a single massive payment, as most recent big lottery winners have chosen to do, Friday’s $1 billion Mega Millions prize would be worth $740 million.

Federal taxes would quickly take almost 40% of that amount, with state taxes a possibility on top of that.

The $2 Mega Millions tickets are sold in 45 states, along with the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The odds of a winning Mega Millions ticket are 1 in 302.5 million.

• Victor Morton can be reached at vmorton@washingtontimes.com.

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