$656 million won on March 30th 2012
The drawing on March 30th 2012 created not only the largest Mega Millions jackpot ever seen but also the second-largest jackpot in the world. The grand prize was worth an incredible $656 million and was the result of 19 draws without a top-tier winner. In the draw, three ticket holders from Maryland, Illinois and Kansas matched all six numbers to share the jackpot.
The winners were named as Merle and Patricia Butler from Red Bud, Illinois and three work colleagues dubbed ‘The Three Amigos’ from Milford Mill, Maryland. The third winner was from Kansas but, as winners in that state have the option to remain anonymous, they were never formally identified. Each winner received $218.6 million before taxes.
How the prize pool is distributed
Regarding the honesty of the declared money distribution scheme, collected from Mega Millions ticket sales, no need to worry, since everything is transparent in large world lotteries - they are carefully inspected by state bodies and various commissions. How else? After all, the account is in the hundreds of millions of dollars, voluntarily invested in the common cause by American (mostly) and foreign citizens.
We mentioned the phrase "common cause" for a reason. The thing is, what 35% proceeds from ticket sales are distributed among the federal budgets of the states participating in the lottery (in count 46). Of course, this money does not go to any of the officials in the pocket, but are sent to various useful government projects.
As it should be according to the rules of many lotteries, 50% of funds form the Mega Millions prize pool.
The remaining 15% spent on ticket distribution and advertising campaign.
The honesty of the organizers is also indicated by, that unclaimed winnings are also transferred in favor of federal budgets with their subsequent use in state programs. It's not just about small amounts, but also about large.
You think, there was no such case during the existence of Mega Millions, when no one showed up for a multi-million dollar win? maybe, we will disappoint you, but he was. It happened in 2007 year, when an unknown ticket holder, acquired in New York State, won 31 million dollars, but never took my winnings. You can go over in your mind for a long time the possible reasons for such "inaction" (but in life anything happens), but the fact remains. There were also a lot of cases, when there were unclaimed winnings on 250 thousand. dollars.