In 38 states and Washington D.C., people lined up for the chance to start 2011 right – really right. Lottery players in the tri-state area got the chance to vie for the seventh-largest lottery prize in U.S. history, a $355 million Mega Millions jackpot. That works out to about $208 million if taken as a lump sum.
The winning numbers – 4 , 8, 15, 25, 47 and Mega Ball 42 – were drawn at 11 p.m. last night.
“We’d buy a house somewhere warm, where the streets are plowed,” David Joseph told CBS 2′s Pablo Guzman.
Randy Breidbart, of Park Avenue Financial Advisors, offered some advice to the winner, saying they should put the money into a safe spot and take their time to develop a sensible spending and investment plan.
“It’s a huge, huge responsibility to have that kind of money,” Breidbart told 1010 WINS’ Al Jones.
CBS 2′s Scott Rapoport spoke to some passionate players in the area about how they went about choosing their numbers.
The responses ranged from a daughter’s birthday to a license plate number to the last four digits of their Social Security number.
One by one customers came into the Leprechaun News Stand in Rutherford, N.J. to try their luck.
“Everybody is thinking this time maybe one dollar will change my life,” owner Yogi Patel said.
Five years ago, Patel sold New Jersey’s largest ever single winning ticket – $258 million – and one man is hoping luck strikes twice.
“I could live on a million, I could live on a half-a-million maybe,” he said.
CPA David Lifson said the winner of the prize should consider breaking “it up into various asset classifications.”
“So that you have something for now – to enjoy your winning – something for the mid-term, something for the long-term and maybe something for your family after your gone,” he said.
The largest Mega Millions jackpot was $390 million in 2007. The prize was shared by two players in Georgia and New Jersey. Last night’s jackpot is the third largest ever offered since New York joined the multi-state game in 2002.