Mega Millions is a popular multi-state lottery game in the United States. It is played in 45 states, as well as Washington D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Mega Millions holds the record for the largest lottery jackpot in history, which was $1.537 billion and won in South Carolina in 2018.
The game involves selecting five main numbers from 1 to 70, and one Mega Ball number from 1 to 25. To win the jackpot, players must match all six numbers. Smaller prizes are awarded for matching fewer numbers. Mega Millions drawings are held twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Kentucky has participated in Mega Millions since the game began in 2002. Over the years, there have been several lucky Kentuckians who have won substantial Mega Millions prizes in the state. This article will explore how many Mega Millions jackpot and million-dollar prize winners there have been in Kentucky.
Mega Millions Basics
Before diving into the specifics for Kentucky, let’s review some key facts about Mega Millions:
– Mega Millions drawings are held every Tuesday and Friday evening at 11 p.m. Eastern Time.
– Players choose 5 main numbers from 1 to 70 and 1 Mega Ball number from 1 to 25.
– To win the jackpot, players must match all 5 main numbers and the Mega Ball.
– The minimum Mega Millions jackpot is $40 million. It grows by at least $5 million each drawing until it is won.
– Players win $2 if they match just the Mega Ball number. $3 is won for matching one main number plus the Mega Ball.
– The overall odds of winning any Mega Millions prize are 1 in 24. The jackpot odds are about 1 in 303 million.
– Mega Millions tickets cost $2 per play. An extra $1 is charged for the Megaplier option which can multiply non-jackpot prizes.
– Jackpot winners can choose to receive their prize as an annuity paid out over 30 years, or as a one-time lump sum payment.
– Since October 2017, Mega Millions jackpots start at $40 million instead of $15 million. The game layout changed to 5/70 + 1/25 from 5/75 + 1/15.
Now that we’ve reviewed how Mega Millions works, we can look at the specific jackpot winners in the state of Kentucky.
Mega Millions Jackpot Winners in Kentucky
In the 20+ year history of Mega Millions, there has been one jackpot winner sold in Kentucky:
|March 30, 2012||3 Manhattan, NY residents||$656 million annuity||Stop & Shop, Georgetown|
On March 30, 2012, three winning tickets split a massive $656 million annuity jackpot, which was the largest Mega Millions jackpot at the time. One of those tickets was purchased at a Stop & Shop grocery store in Georgetown, Kentucky.
The other two winning tickets were sold in Illinois and Maryland. All three sets of winners chose the cash option, splitting $476 million before taxes.
The Kentucky winners opted to remain anonymous. Lottery officials stated it was a group of three radiology technicians from an Upper East Side hospital in Manhattan. It was revealed they contributed money together to purchase 60 Mega Millions plays, beating the 1 in 176 million odds. Each of them took home around $34 million after federal and state taxes.
So in summary, there has been just one Mega Millions jackpot winner to date in the state of Kentucky. The $656 million prize from 2012 stands as the only Kentucky jackpot victory so far.
Other Mega Millions Million-Dollar Winners in Kentucky
Aside from the massive jackpot in 2012, there have been several other Kentucky players who became Mega Millions millionaires over the years:
|May 4, 2007||R.C. and S.C.||$2 million||Speedway, Radcliff|
|August 31, 2007||G.S.||$1 million||Kroger, Versailles|
|September 5, 2008||J.D.||$1 million||Thornton’s, Louisville|
|December 30, 2008||R.S.||$2.2 million||Hopkins Mini Mart, Madisonville|
|December 17, 2013||T.D.||$1 million||Speedway, Winchester|
|October 14, 2014||R.P.||$1 million||Kroger, Louisville|
|January 5, 2018||L.T.||$1 million||Associated Grocers, Owensboro|
The table above summarizes the seven times that Kentucky players have won Mega Millions prizes of $1 million or more, excluding the jackpot. As you can see, winners have come from all across the state over the past 15+ years.
These million-dollar wins were for matching the five main numbers but missing the Mega Ball number. Doing so earns a $1 million prize, or $2 million if the optional Megaplier was purchased for an extra $1. That accounts for the $2 million wins on two occasions when the Megaplier number drawn was 2X.
In total, there have been 8 Mega Millions tickets worth $1 million or more sold in Kentucky since the game began in 2002. This includes the mammoth $656 million jackpot split in 2012, along with 7 additional second prize tickets.
Recapping Mega Millions Winners in Kentucky
To summarize the key points:
– There has been 1 Mega Millions jackpot winner in Kentucky – $656 million in 2012
– 7 players have won Mega Millions second prizes of $1 million or more in Kentucky
– The biggest Mega Millions prize won in Kentucky was $656 million split in 2012
– The most recent Kentucky winner was $1 million in Owensboro in January 2018
– In total, there have been 8 Mega Millions millionaires made in Kentucky
– Winning tickets have been sold in all regions of Kentucky, including both large cities and small towns
So while Kentucky has had just one jackpot victor so far, a fair number of players have still struck it rich with Mega Millions in the state. With Mega Millions fever sweeping the nation for record jackpots, it may just be a matter of time until Kentucky scores its second main prize.
Probability of Winning Mega Millions in Kentucky
The odds of winning any Mega Millions prize are about 1 in 24 according to the official game rules. A person has a 1 in 303 million chance of hitting the jackpot. Let’s compare that to the odds of other rare events:
|Event||Odds of Occurring|
|Mega Millions jackpot||1 in 303 million|
|Powerball jackpot||1 in 292 million|
|Killed by lightning||1 in 700,000|
|Killed in a shark attack||1 in 3.7 million|
|Hole in one (golf)||1 in 12,500|
As you can see, winning the Mega Millions jackpot is significantly less likely than being struck by lightning or attacked by a shark. However, it has happened before to a lucky group in Kentucky back in 2012 when the odds were even steeper at 1 in 176 million.
With millions of tickets bought in Kentucky for each drawing, some resident is eventually bound to defy the long odds and become Mega Millions’ next jackpot winner. State lottery officials estimate that Mega Millions generates around $28 million annually in funding for college scholarships and grants in Kentucky. So even non-winning players still benefit indirectly.
Given the sheer number of possible number combinations, it is impossible to predict when Kentucky’s next big Mega Millions winner will arise. For now, all players can do is carefully select numbers, check tickets promptly, and hope to get incredibly lucky. The potential life-changing payoff is enough reason for many to keep dreaming.
Notable Mega Millions Jackpot Wins
While Kentucky has had just one Mega Millions jackpot so far, other states have produced dozens of massive winners over the years:
|Group of 20 coworkers||California||$543 million||July 24, 2018|
|Anonymous||South Carolina||$1.537 billion*||October 23, 2018|
|Group of 20 coworkers||Michigan||$1.05 billion||January 22, 2021|
|Two anonymous winners||California and Wisconsin||$632.6 million||January 5, 2022|
|Edwin Castro||California||$425 million||February 14, 2022|
|Richard Wahl||New Jersey||$533 million||March 30, 2018|
|Group of 11 coworkers||Tennessee||$543 million||November 19, 2021|
(*Largest jackpot in U.S. lottery history)
The biggest Mega Millions jackpot ever was $1.537 billion won in South Carolina in October 2018 by a single anonymous ticket. Other massive jackpots were hit in states like California, Michigan, Wisconsin, and New Jersey.
Kentucky certainly hopes to eventually join this list of Mega Millions jackpot states. With two drawings a week, the next opportunity is always just around the corner. For now, players anxiously wait to see if Kentucky’s Mega Millions jackpot drought will end with an exciting win.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to some common questions about Mega Millions in Kentucky:
How long has Kentucky participated in Mega Millions?
Kentucky has been a member of Mega Millions since the game began in 2002. It joined as one of the original member states and has remained in the game ever since.
What was Kentucky’s biggest Mega Millions jackpot?
The largest Kentucky Mega Millions jackpot was $656 million, split by three winners in 2012. This remains the only Kentucky jackpot win so far.
When do Mega Millions drawings take place?
Mega Millions drawings are held every Tuesday and Friday evening at 11 p.m. Eastern Time. Kentucky players can watch the drawings online or on local TV stations.
What is the biggest Mega Millions jackpot ever?
The largest Mega Millions jackpot in history stands at $1.537 billion, won in South Carolina in October 2018. That winner remains anonymous.
Can a Kentucky resident buy tickets online?
No, Mega Millions tickets must be purchased from authorized retailers located within Kentucky. There are no official online sales. Players have to buy tickets in person.
What is the minimum Kentucky jackpot to produce two winners?
With higher interest rates and ticket sales, the minimum Kentucky Mega Millions jackpot now likely needs to reach $800 million to $1 billion in order to fund two winning tickets. Lower amounts generally produce just one jackpot winner.
Where does Kentucky lottery revenue go?
The Kentucky Lottery dedicates its proceeds to college scholarship and grant programs within the state. Over $6 billion has been raised so far. Mega Millions sales account for a significant portion of this funding.
Can I remain anonymous if I win?
Kentucky allows Mega Millions winners to remain anonymous if they so choose. The 2012 Kentucky jackpot winners chose to keep their identities private. Winners can consult with legal counsel on claiming prizes confidentially.
What are the closest states without Mega Millions?
Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Nevada, Utah, Hawaii, Alaska, and Puerto Rico do not currently participate in Mega Millions. Kentucky is surrounded entirely by member states.
Where can I find the latest Kentucky winning numbers?
The official Kentucky Lottery website and mobile app both publish results shortly after each Mega Millions drawing. Local news outlets in Kentucky also typically report the latest winning numbers on TV and online.
What are the odds of matching just the Mega Ball number?
The odds of correctly matching only the Mega Ball number are 1 in 37. Kentucky players have about a 2.7% chance of hitting the Mega Ball on each $2 ticket.
In summary, Kentucky joined Mega Millions upon its inception in 2002. Since that time, there has been one major jackpot winner – a $656 million prize split in 2012. Additionally, seven players have won Mega Millions second prizes of $1 million or more.
While the odds are astronomical at 1 in 303 million, someone eventually will hit the jackpot in Kentucky again. Mega Millions has made millionaires across all regions of the state already. With two chances a week to play and a starting jackpot of $20 million that grows rapidly, Mega Millions fever is always strong in Kentucky. Players continue to dream of joining the list of the game’s biggest winners.