03/31/2012 : Early uncertainty on number of winners, but at least one in Maryland
Friday's gigantic US Mega Millions lottery jackpot – around $640 million at the time of the draw and a world record – has at least one winner, according to early Associated Press reports.
Getting in ahead of other Mega Millions states, Maryland lottery officials announced in the early hours of Saturday morning that their state had sold at least one of the winning tickets in Baltimore, although it was unclear if that ticket holder would get sole possession of the $640 million jackpot.
The winning numbers for the Mega Millions prize were 46, 23, 38, 4, 2; mega ball was 23, lottery officials revealed.
National lottery officials were expecting to list early Saturday on their website how many winning tickets were sold and from what states, but Maryland sent out its news release and called media organisations hours before the scheduled announcement.
The headline of its news release said the winning sale was "one of several nationwide," and there were unconfirmed reports that there may be another winner in Kansas.
Maryland lottery spokesmen said the last time a ticket from the state won a major national jackpot was 2008, with a ticket that won $24 million.
Associated Press reports that the estimated jackpot dwarfs the previous $390 million record, which was split in 2007 by two winners who bought tickets in Georgia and New Jersey.
Americans spent nearly $1.5 billion for a chance to hit the jackpot, which amounts to a $462 million lump sun and around $347 million after federal tax withholding.
The odds on hitting the jackpot were approximately 1 in 176 million.