Monopoly Millionaires’ Club, the new national lottery game dedicated to “making more and more millionaires,” had 14 winners of $1 million on Friday night.
Make that 15 millionaires in all, including the top prize of $21 million, won by a single New Jersey ticket.
But it’s nowhere near the all-time record for a U.S. lottery.
Three drawings minted more than twice as many.
In fairness, 15 is likely nowhere near the high this three-week-old game might eventually achieve.
The game’s designers set up Monopoly Millionaires’ Club so that as the top prize continues to go unclaimed, the number of $1 million prizes keeps building. It’s possible for “hundreds of millionaires” to be produced in a single drawing, they predicted.
Especially as more states join the 22 that now offer the game (plus Washington, D.C.).
Fifteen million-dollar winners isn’t even the high for 2014.
The Feb. 19 Powerball drawing produced 19 millionaires (before taxes, of course). Seventeen of them won $1 million, one player won $2 million thanks to the Power Play option, and a Californian hit the $425 million annuity jackpot.
That’s nowhere near the record either.
And, no, we’re not counting office pools like the SEPTA 48. Four dozen Philadelphia transit workers split $107.5 million in cash after hitting a Powerball jackpot in April 2012.
Actually, that win created 49 millionaires, since two women split one share from the 48 tickets.
Even if pools counted, that’s still far short.
By our unofficial reckoning, the record is a whopping 68, set by the Nov. 28, 2012, Powerball drawing. Fifty-eight tickets won $1 million, eight more won $2 million each (they had the Power Play option), and two tickets split the jackpot, worth $587.5 million as an annuity.
Here are the lottery drawings with the most prizes of $1 million or more. Notice that every case happened since the start of 2012. That’s when Powerball hiked its base second-place prize to $1 million. Mega Millions followed suit in October 2013.
By the way, that 68 is NOT the record for most second-tier prizes worth $200,000 or more.
That distinction likely belongs to the record-setting Mega Millions drawing of March 2012, which produced 161 $250,000 prizes (and three Megaplier winners of $1 million). The annuity jackpot of $656 million, split by three players, is still the biggest ever.
For more on Monopoly Millionaires' Club, go to the official website, PlayMMC.com, or check out, "New $5 national lottery takes the prize for being complicated."
Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @petemucha on Twitter.