Winning is good for business, said Yogi Patel, owner of the store that sold the winning $250 million Mega Millions lottery ticket.
"Now that I have a winner, business is up 100 percent, really 101 percent," Patel, owner of Leprechaun News in Rutherford, N.J., said Saturday. "I always had a feeling I would have a big winner at my store, and I was right."
The winning numbers drawn Friday night are 5, 16, 41, 46 and 50, with the Mega Ball number 1. The estimated cash value of the jackpot is about $151 million before taxes.
Patel, who has owned the store for 14 years, said he has no idea which one of his customers could be the lucky winner.
"I sell lots of tickets. Everybody knows me. I can't wait to see who it is, if it's a regular," said Patel, 49. "I'm so proud."
Like Patel, New Jersey state lottery officials Saturday also was waiting for the winner to come forward. The jackpot is the largest single-ticket prize in New Jersey state history.
New York lottery officials said there were 23 second place winners from around the country who purchased tickets, including one each from Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island.
Those winners matched five numbers but did not match the Mega Ball number. They will each receive $250,000. Mega Millions is played in 12 states: California, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.
The prize for the most recent Mega Millions began on July 26 with a jackpot of $12 million. The jackpot had continued to be rolled over until the winner was selected on Friday. Players bought a total of more than $491 million worth of tickets since July 26, according to lottery officials.
The record jackpot in the United States was $363 million, shared by two Mega Millions winners in May 2000. The largest single-ticket winner won a $314.9 million jackpot in the multi-state Powerball game on Christmas Day 2002.