The Mega Millions jackpot began its sixth upward climb of 2014 after no ticket matched all six numbers Tuesday, a combination that would have won a $15 million jackpot. There was one winner of the second-prize $1 million payout, with a single ticket in Texas hitting the first five numbers, but not the Mega Ball.
The Mega Millions jackpot now rises to $20 million for the upcoming Friday drawing.
There have already been six jackpots won in 2014 — with seven winners, as a March 18 jackpot was split between two winning tickets — and there are signs that Mega Millions players are feeling what may be described as "jackpot fatigue."
Sales for Tuesday's $15 million drawing totaled just 14,295,850 tickets. Of the six $15 million jackpots this year, that total is the lowest. After someone wins a Mega Millions jackpot, the total prize reverts to $15 million, the minimum jackpot for the nationwide lottery game.
The previous low for a $15 million drawing was 16,231,619 for a jackpot on April 8, for the drawing immediately following a $30 million jackpot win. That $30 million jackpot was the lowest of the six jackpots won in 2014.
"We're still waiting for the winner to call us," said Jeff Holyfield, of the Michigan Lottery Commission. "That could be in a few days or a few weeks."
The winning ticket was purchased at Sonny's Mart, a gas station and convenience store in the Detroit suburb of Mount Clemens. The owner, Sonny Tarhini, says he has no idea who bought the winning ticket, but he will be collecting a payout of $50,000 just for selling the Mega Millions winner.
In addition to the $1 million "Match 5" winner in Texas Tuesday, the Mega Millions drawing yielded 18 third-prize winning tickets, which matched four of the first five Mega Millions numbers plus the Mega Ball.
That combination pays $5,000, except in California where the state's pari-mutuel payout system causes the cash prizes to vary based on the number of tickets sold in the state.
On Tuesday, three "4+1" winners in California won prizes of $4,781 each.
In total, there was $2,732,082 in prize money won in Tuesday's Mega Millions game, over 969,889 winning tickets. Was yours one of them? Check your Mega Millions numbers against the following sequence, drawn at 10:59 pm in Atlanta, Georgia.
10 — 14 — 24 — 47 — 60 Mega Ball 3
For a winner who chooses a single cash payment, Saturday's Mega Millions jackpot will pay $11.4 million before taxes.