San Jose liquor store sells only winning Mega Millions ticket for $522-million jackpot

Mega Millions lottery tickets sit on a cash register in Covina in 2013.
(Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images)

The California State Lottery website doesn’t list Ernie’s Liquors in San Jose as one of its “lucky” retailers, but that’s set to change after Tuesday night’s Mega Millions drawing.

That’s because the San Jose store was the only retailer in the country to sell a ticket matching all six numbers drawn, netting one extremely lucky customer the $522-million jackpot. The odds of matching all six numbers are about 1 in 302.5 million.

As the business that sold the ticket, the store will receive a $1-million prize.


“It’s all excitement here, that’s all I see right now, because a lot of people are just pouring in because they probably heard the news on the internet, the TV channel, radio,” store owner Gawal Sachdev told KTVU-TV late Tuesday.

As Sachdev spoke with reporters, a line of customers waited to purchase tickets inside the store.

The $522-million jackpot was the fifth-largest prize in Mega Millions history; if the winner chooses the game’s cash-payout option, that comes to $308.1 million. The jackpot had been rolling over since May 4, when someone won a $142-million jackpot in Ohio.

Besides Tuesday night’s winner, eight other tickets were sold that matched five of the six drawn numbers. Of those tickets, six are worth $1 million and two are worth $3 million. The two with the larger prize included a purchased optional Megaplier that increases their payout, officials said in a statement.

The winning numbers were 1, 2, 4, 19, 29 and 20.

The next Mega Millions drawing will be Friday, with a jackpot of $40 million.

The largest lottery prize in history, a $1.6-billion Powerball jackpot in 2016 had three winners, including a ticket sold in Chino Hills.

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