Op-Ed: CA winner takes Mega Millions jackpot, players buy tickets online

Posted Aug 23, 2014 by Elizabeth Brown
On Friday, winning numbers were drawn for Mega Millions' $180 million jackpot, one of this year's largest prizes for the U.S. multi-state lottery. On August 22, the draw yielded the following combination: 5, 31, 34, 41, 74, 3 with megaplier 5x.
Dollar banknotes
Dollar banknotes
Jericho (CC BY 3.0)
California Winner
On Saturday, California Lottery announced that a single ticket purchased in the Golden State matched all six numbers. "The winning ticket was sold at a 7-Eleven store in Calimesa, Calif.," according to Mega Millions' website. "It marks California’s second jackpot winner this year, following a $30 million prize won in Los Angeles on April 4."
The drawing also produced a $1 million Match 5 winner in Pennsylvania.
Online Purchases
Throughout the week, players saw lengthy lines at groceries, convenience stores, and gas stations. "The long wait times for Mega Millions' encouraged many players to buy lottery tickets online," says a spokesperson for Congalotto, a lotto messenger company. "Some of those players were from outside the United States."
According to the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL), there have been seven Mega Millions jackpots won this year:
• $61 million won in Tennessee on January 3
• $414 million split between winners in Florida and Maryland on March 18
• $20 million won in New York on March 25
• $30 million won in California on April 4
• $149 million won in Pennsylvania on May 20 (unclaimed)
• $66 million won in Michigan on June 13
• $33 million won in Texas on June 27.
According to Statista, U.S. sales consistently increased year-over-year from 2009 to 2012, going from $58.25 billion to $68.78 billion within that four-year span. Nearly half of Americans play the lottery.
"The Internet is giving players a convenient platform from which to play the lottery," says the spokesperson for "Consumers who may have otherwise missed a draw can now buy tickets through their PC or mobile device, and that flexibility results in growth for the whole industry."
Illinois Lottery lets state residents buy tickets over the Internet, and other state lotteries are exploring similar options.
Houston Trust Claims $33 Million
"The 6-27-14 Revocable Trust, William J. Rohrbach Jr, Trustee, of Houston claimed the $33 million annuitized jackpot for the June 27 Mega Millions drawing," Texas Lottery announced on August 22. "The trust selected the cash value option, receiving the prize in one lump sum payment of $19,241,983. The Moulton Grocery & Market, located at 100 S. Lavaca in Moulton, is eligible for a $330,000 bonus for selling the jackpot winning ticket."
According to lottery officials, Mr. Rohrbach requested minimal publicity. His Quick Pick ticket matched all five numbers drawn (15–29–31–46–64) and the Bonus Ball (10) in the June 27 drawing.
The $149 million Mega Millions jackpot won in Pennsylvania on May 20 remains unclaimed.