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Saturday, February 16 , 2019, 6:51 am | Fair 50º


Lotto Fever Spikes as Mega Millions Jackpot Grows to $640 Million

The numbers are in! Check yours here; if they match, you could be a winner of the record payout

Lotto Fever gripped the Central Coast — and most of the nation — as the estimated pot for Friday’s drawing in the multistate Mega Millions lottery reached a record $640 million.

The winning numbers are 2-4-23-38-46 with Megaball 23. The Associated Press reported late Friday that a winning ticket was sold in Maryland.

The jackpot was originally set at $476 million, but increased hype led sales to spike, pushing the total higher.

Local California Lottery retailers reported brisk sales of the tickets, and the jackpot left many people pondering what they would do with such a large sum of money.

Andrea Plackett, owner of A and J Limousine, knew exactly how she would divide the funds to benefit her family and others.

“I would pay off all our debt and buy a house in Hope Ranch,” she said. “Then I would pay off my parents’ debt and move them back to California from New Jersey. I’d buy new limos and cars for our business, and help my friend win Woman of the Year for the Lymphoma Society with a huge donation. After that I have no idea — just to live comfortably for the rest of our lives would be freaking nice for a change!”

To play, would-be winners must pick five numbers from 1 to 56, and one “Mega” number from 1 to 46 on a Mega Millions play slip. They can do this by selecting their own “lucky” numbers, or by using the lottery’s “quick pick” option.

Fellow Santa Barbara resident Noelle Brown, a hostess at Chuck’s of Hawaii, would also utilize the jackpot for comfort, but says she would still continue to work.

“I’d start off by buying a nice house, but nothing too extravagant, probably in the $3 to $5 million range, furnish it with everything, buy a car, go shopping and then save the rest,” she said. “Maybe give myself a little monthly budget, but I also don’t think I’d stop working.”

But not everyone said they would use the jackpot for luxury or comfort.

“I’d only work on things that mattered,” said Evan Constantouros, an engineer at Raytheon.

To win the big jackpot, a player must correctly choose all six numbers. If more than one winning ticket has all the numbers, the jackpot will be split. If no one wins, the pot will be rolled over to the next drawing on Tuesday.

If a single winner won the jackpot and the annual payment option was chosen, payments would be $24 million a year for 26 years (before taxes). The retailer who sells the jackpot-winning ticket will receive the maximum bonus of $1 million.

For reference, the largest Mega Millions jackpot ever won was $390 million in March 2007, with a cash option of $233 million.

Mega Millions is a multistate game, played in California and 43 other jurisdictions (41 states plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands).

Noozhawk intern Brittany Avila can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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