Mega Millions: Half a billion dollars; 3 in state win $250,000

ATLANTA — The Mega Millions jackpot is now the largest in U.S. lottery history.

Georgia Lottery officials say the jackpot reached $500 million on Wednesday. It has rolled 18 times since Marcia Adams of College Park won $72 million in the Jan. 24 drawing.

A winner could get $19.2 million a year for 26 years or a single payment worth $359 million. The next drawing is Friday at 11 p.m.

Previously, the largest jackpot was $390 million, won by two players in Georgia and New Jersey in March 2007.

In Tuesday night’s game, 47 players came very close, matching 5 of the 6 winning numbers. Each of those tickets is worth at least $250,000.

Mega Millions is played in more than 40 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The winning numbers Tuesday night were: Nine, 19, 34, 44 and 51. The Mega Ball was 24.

While no one won the big jackpot in Tuesday night’s Mega Millions drawing, several people picked five of the six numbers to win $250,000, and three of those winners are in Washington state.

The Washington Lottery says two of the quarter-million dollar tickets were sold in Spokane and one in Ferndale. In addition, a $10,000 prize was claimed Wednesday by a Naval Base Kitsap worker who played with a group of 28 friends.

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