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Staten Island Mega Millions Winner: ‘I Just Couldn’t Believe What I Was Seeing’

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Staten Island woman who was caught up in Powerball fever ended up becoming a Mega Millions winner.

On Jan. 8, Nancy Viola told her husband to stop on his way home from work and buy some Powerball tickets as that jackpot swelled to $900 million. After buying the tickets, he had a dollar left over, which he decided to spend on a Quick Pick ticket for that night’s Mega Millions drawing.

The next day, Viola, checked her numbers and realized she won the $169 million Mega Millions jackpot.

“The first thing I did was look at the Mega Ball, and the numbers matched up. Then I looked at the rest of the numbers, and they matched up too. I think I almost had a heart attack,” she said. “I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing, so I asked my husband to come over to look….and he was in shock too.”

Viola opted for the one-time lump sum payment of nearly $65 million, after taxes.

“There are no words to describe it. I still can’t believe it. It’s surreal, but exciting and wonderful at the same time,” Viola said. “I’ve thought about my plans, and I want to make some investments and just be secure for the future.”

Meanwhile, Friday night’s Mega Millions jackpot has grown to $415 million, the third-largest ever for the game.

A Staten Island woman who was caught up in Powerball fever ended up becoming a Mega Millions winner.

Mega Millions jackpot at $512M for Tuesday’s drawing

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — The Mega Millions jackpot has soared to $512 million for Tuesday night’s drawing, with a cash option of $303 million.

Here’s what you need to know about the game.

The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 302,575,350, according to lottery officials.

BUYING A TICKET

Tickets can be purchased at any New York Lottery retailer for $2, seven days a week. On draw nights, the deadline to buy a ticket is 10:45 p.m.

Drawings are held every Tuesday and Friday. The New York Lottery urges players to buy tickets in advance to avoid last-minute lines.

The drawing for the jackpot is Tuesday, July 24, at 11 p.m.

HOW TO PLAY

Players pick numbers from 1 to 70, and one Mega Ball number from 1 to 25. Players can also select Easy Pick/Quick Pick to have numbers automatically chosen for them.

Mega Millions is played in 44 states, plus the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands.

WINNING THE JACKPOT

To win the Mega Millions jackpot prize, you must match all five regular numbers and the Mega Ball number, in a drawing.

There are two jackpot prize payment options: You can receive your prize in 30 annual payments, or receive the prize in a lump sum cash payment. Each annual payment is five percent larger than the previous one.

The one-time lump sum cash payment is $303 million.

MEGAPLIER

Megaplier is a feature that allows a winner to multiply the original prize amount and is an additional $1 per play.

The Megaplier feature increases non-jackpot prizes by 2, 3, 4 or 5 times. It is drawn at random before each Mega Millions jackpot drawing.

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Mega Millions jackpot at $512M for Tuesday’s drawing STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — The Mega Millions jackpot has soared to $512 million for Tuesday night’s drawing, with a cash option of $303 million. ]]>