A Davenport man claimed a $2 million Mega Millions® prize on Friday that he won in the game’s giant jackpot drawing nearly a month earlier and plans to split the winnings with his stepfather.
Ben Sanford said he had known since shortly after the July 29 drawing that he had won big, but waited to claim the prize while he and his stepfather made plans for the winnings. Ben and Jason Sanford said they usually buy tickets together and have always said that they would split their winnings.
Ben Sanford, 37, said he bought six plays for the Mega Millions drawing on July 29. The game’s jackpot that night had climbed to more than $1.3 billion, the second-highest grand prize ever offered in the game.
One of Sanford’s easy-pick tickets matched the first five numbers that night to initially win $1 million. But Sanford had added the Megaplier® option to his purchase, which multiplied the total winnings to $2 million.
The winning numbers in the July 29 drawing were: 13-36-45-57-67 and Mega Ball 14. The Megaplier number was 2.
Ben Sanford said he checked his tickets the night of the drawing, and yelped in surprise when he realized that one of them had hit big. He said he immediately went downstairs to share the news with his stepdad, who was half-asleep while watching sports and asked if they could talk about it in the morning.
The next day, Jason Sanford said it all became very real for both of them.
The two said they plan to carefully invest the winnings, although Ben Sanford may get a new car.
Ben Sanford bought his ticket at the Big 10 Mart, 999 Middle Road in Bettendorf, which will receive a $2,000 bonus from the Iowa Lottery for selling the $2 million-winning ticket.
Players in $2 Mega Millions choose their first five numbers from a pool of 70, and another number – called the Mega Ball – from a separate pool of 25. The Megaplier option is available for an extra $1 per play.
Powerball® and Mega Millions are both lotto games with jackpot prizes that have climbed into the hundreds of millions of dollars. But while Powerball’s drawings are on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, the Mega Millions drawings are on Tuesdays and Fridays.
About the Iowa Lottery
Since the lottery’s start in 1985, its players have won more than $5.2 billion in prizes while the lottery has raised more than $2.2 billion for state programs. Today, lottery proceeds help the state in multiple ways. They support Iowa veterans and their families through the Iowa Veterans Trust Fund. They help the families of Iowa peace officers, firefighters and corrections employees who die in the line of duty. And they provide help for a variety of significant projects through the state General Fund.