DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — In a Dec. 13 story about the Mega Millions lottery jackpot, The Associated Press misspelled the last name of a staff writer who contributed from New Orleans. Her name is Stacey Plaisance, not Plaissance.
A corrected version of the story is below:
Brisk sales raise Mega Millions jackpot to $425M
Officials raise Mega Millions jackpot to $425 million following brisk sales
By BARBARA RODRIGUEZ and DAVID PITT
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Superstition didn't deter players hoping that Friday the 13th would bring them good luck in the recently revamped Mega Millions game, as heavy sales prompted lottery officials to boost the jackpot from $400 million to $425 million.
Paula Otto, the Virginia Lottery's executive director and Mega Millions' lead director, said sales were 40 percent ahead of projections, prompting officials to boost the jackpot before the Friday night drawing.
"Won't it be fun if we have a huge lottery winner on Friday the 13th?" she said. "I always say there are no unlucky numbers in the lottery. I work on the 13th floor of our building. I like 13."
The estimated $425 million jackpot is the second-largest Mega Millions jackpot ever, trailing a $656 million jackpot in March 2012, and it is the fifth-largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history. The current jackpot has rolled over 20 times, and a winner from Friday night's drawing could have a cash option of $228 million before taxes. The winning numbers were: 19-24-26-27-70, Mega Ball: 12.
Tom Leuangkhamsone doesn't usually play Mega Millions, but he bought one ticket Friday morning at a convenience store in Atlanta.
"I feel lucky today," he said. "Friday the 13th, they say it's a bad day but I don't know. ... If I win I would probably give most of it away."
In New York state, tickets were selling at a pace of $500,000 an hour Friday morning. The state's lottery spokeswoman, Christy Calicchia, said sales are normally between $60,000 and $70,000 an hour.
Mike Cline, 46, bought a lone Mega Millions ticket at a Des Moines convenience store.
"She's selling me the winner right now," he said to the store owner as he turned in a sheet with his family's birthdays on them. It's the numbers he uses all the time. Aside from his own personal ticket, he plays in a work pool that uses a combination of set numbers and the automated Easy Pick option.