When Ann Mingus saw the billboard with the large jackpots for Powerball and Mega Millions, she did what many people do, started daydreaming about how much she would need to take care of her family and retire.
“As I am driving along I am doing the math in my head, and I thought that $3 million would do it,” Mingus said. “Turns out, I had the $3 million ticket!”
Mingus, from Springfield, won the largest Mega Millions prize in Oregon since the game came to the state in 2010. Mingus realized she won when she saw news reports that someone purchased a winning ticket in Cottage Grove and checked her numbers. She didn’t tell anyone about her win, not even family members for a few weeks, and immediately contacted an attorney to come up with a plan. She also hired a financial planner to assist her in managing the prize.
Mingus purchased the ticket at the Cottage Grove Safeway from a Lottery To Go machine; the blue vending machines that offer Scratch-its and other games.
“I like to use the machine then I don’t have to wait in line at customer service,” she said. “A lot of people don’t know you can buy Mega Millions and other tickets from them.”
Officials from Safeway said they were excited that they sold the largest Mega Millions jackpot in Oregon history.
“We can’t believe our local Cottage Grove Safeway sold the winning $3 million Mega Millions ticket,” said Jill McGinnis, Director of Communications and Public Affairs with Safeway. “We’re so happy for our customer! It just goes to show, you never know who’s going to win – it could be you the next time you’re picking up dinner!”
There are 110 stores in Oregon and a store in Grants Pass also recently sold a $250,000 Scratch-it ticket, which was claimed last week.
The winning Mega Millions of numbers for the Nov. 30 drawing were 25-28-40-43-63 and Mega Ball of 19. To win $1 million, players must match five of five numbers without the Mega Ball. Mingus won $3 million by selected the Megaplier option, which increases non-jackpot prizes by 2, 3, 4 or 5 times. This option costs an extra $1.
In the case of Mingus’ ticket, the Megaplier was 3, meaning she won $3 million!
Mega Millions is one of two multi-state lottery games the Oregon Lottery offers. You can play Mega Millions in 44 states plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Each play costs $2 to play. Jackpots start at $40 million, and the jackpot for the next drawing on Friday, Dec. 7 at 8 p.m.
Lottery officials recommend that you always sign the back of your tickets with each Oregon Lottery game you play, to ensure you can claim any prize you may win. In the event of winning a jackpot, players should consult with a trusted financial planner or similar professional to develop a plan for their winnings. Prize winners of more than $50,000 should contact the Lottery office to schedule an appointment to claim their prize.
Since the Oregon Lottery began selling tickets on April 25, 1985, it has earned more than $11 billion for economic development, public education, state parks, and watershed enhancements. For more information on the Oregon Lottery visit www.oregonlottery.org