Mega Millions jackpot at $630 million (credit: NC Education Lottery)
Mega Millions jackpot at $630 million (credit: NC Education Lottery)

(WGHP) — As the Mega Millions jackpot climbed to $630 million after Tuesday night’s drawing, we started wondering where all the $1 million or more winning Mega Millions tickets have been sold in North Carolina.

So we reached out to the NC Education Lottery, and they answered our questions.

The Mega Millions lottery game began in 2010, so there are no wins before that. The list of stores provided to us by the lottery also takes into account online play.

Overall, 40 winning Mega Millions tickets have been sold since 2010. Three of those tickets were sold through online play, and seven of them were sold in the Piedmont Triad.

Four were sold in Guilford County, one in Forsyth County, one in Alamance County and one in Surry County.

The largest win in North Carolina was at the Kangaroo Express at 1531 SE Greenville Boulevard in Greenville on Sept. 30, 2011. The player won $56.5 million. For comparison, the other 39 wins combined add up to just over $57 million, only about $500,000 more.

The chart below stacks each win by city, so you can see which North Carolina cities have won the most money over the years. Greenville was omitted from the chart below because the city's sole win, $56.5 million, dwarfed all others in comparison.

The NC Education Lottery released the following statement to FOX8:

"Winning a big prize of $1 million or more in a Mega Millions drawing takes a lot of luck. It’s all random. Because it is random, every store that sells lottery ticket can be a lucky store and luck can happen at any store. A ticket bought in any store in High Point has the same chance of winning the jackpot as a ticket bought in Manteo or Murphy.

The best strategy is to play for fun and play smart. If you feel lucky, stop at any lottery store on your way home, buy a ticket and dream about how you would change your life if you won $630 million. It only takes one ticket to win.

For Tuesday’s Mega Millions drawing, the odds of winning the $630 million jackpot are 1 in 302 million.

Those are long odds.

It’s all luck. But someone will eventually win both those jackpots. Just like whoever bought that Mega Millions ticket from the Lake Wylie Mini Mart in Gastonia won $1 million on Tuesday even with odds of 1 in 12.6 million.

If you want to increase the size of your prize if you do win, consider buying a $3 Megaplier ticket. For example, if the person who won in Gastonia on Tuesday night had purchased a $3 Megaplier ticket, the prize would have doubled to $3 million. Play smart. Play for fun. Play for a good cause like helping education in North Carolina."

--Director of Communications for the NC Education Lottery Van Denton