Mega Millions jackpot soars over $1 billion as ticket sales surge

Sales were surging for Mega Millions tickets in Austin Tuesday night, hours before the $830 million drawing.

"Because the jackpot’s so high, I figured just throw 20 bucks at it and see what happens," said Charles Martinez of Austin.

"The other day I had a dream that I won the lottery, but I was one number off. So I thought I might as well buy a ticket. So I went ahead and bought my lottery ticket," said Jonathan Townsend of Austin.

This is the third-largest Mega Millions jackpot ever, and for the Texas Lottery, that means big business.

"You know, we've done we've done 10 times more sales just for this role this week than we typically do in a given week," said Lauren Callahan, Director of Media Relations for the Texas Lottery.

At Majik Mart in Northwest Austin, they’re known for having a bit of a lucky streak, which now includes Martinez.

"I bought a scratch off the last time I was in and won 100 bucks. So I thought I’d roll it over and let it keep riding," said Martinez.

When it comes to Mega Millions, Lakeline Express Mart in Cedar Park is considered really lucky. They made lottery history three years ago, and they’re hoping to do it again.

In 2019, a Leander resident bought a $227 million winning ticket there, opting for the $158 million lump sum, the largest-ever lottery payout to a single player in Texas.

The odds of winning the Mega Millions is 1 in 303 million. We did a little research, and found out you have a better chance of being canonized a saint (1 in 20 million), becoming President of the United States (1 in 32.6 million), becoming a movie star (1 in 1.5 million) or winning a gold medal at the Olympics (1 in 662,000).

Still, why not dream a little? We asked Austinites what they would do if they won.

"Probably by a house and an island for everyone in my immediate family," said Martinez.

"I would definitely put my two-weeks’ notice in for sure. I would get my music career going," said Townsend. "I’ll probably buy a Ferrari, no lie."

Sales will most likely be even bigger for the next drawing as no one won the jackpot for Tuesday night's drawing. The jackpot is now an estimated $1.02 billion with the cash option around $602.5 million before taxes.  The drawing will be held on Friday, July 29, 2022, at 10 p.m. CT.

The winning numbers from the July 26, 2022, Mega Million drawing were 7, 29, 60, 63, 66 and 15 for the gold ball.

There were several 2nd prize winners.  Those winners in California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey (2), New York (2), and Ohio.  One of those tickets had a Megaplier and is worth $3 million