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Dreaming of that Mega Millions or Powerball cash? Might want to buy your tickets elsewhere

The Powerball and Mega Million jackpots are both over $350 million, but Whatcom County hasn’t been all that lucky when it comes to the lottery.
The Powerball and Mega Million jackpots are both over $350 million, but Whatcom County hasn’t been all that lucky when it comes to the lottery. pdwyer@bellinghamherald.com

In case you haven’t heard, the Powerball and Mega Million jackpots are both over $350 million – the first time in lottery history that the nation’s two largest multistate lotteries have topped that mark at the same time. At $393 million, the Mega Millions jackpot is the fifth largest in the game’s history, while the $356 Powerball jackpot isn’t large enough to rank among the game’s top 10 prizes, yet.

Want to claim one of them? How about both? ... OK, stupid questions.

But unless you like throwing your money away, you might want to cross county lines before purchasing your tickets – or maybe even make a quick trip out of the state. Washington, and in particular Whatcom County, just hasn’t been all that lucky when it comes to getting the right ping pong balls to come up.

Or, maybe you’re more of a glass-is-half-full type who believes the area is overdue.

According to walottery.com, Mega Millions has had 115 payouts in the state of Washington in the past year, none of which were for the full jackpot.

Only two winning tickets were sold in Whatcom County – a $2,500 winner for the Aug. 17 drawing and a $5,000 winner for Oct. 31. Both were purchased at the Ferndale Mini Market (2085 Main St.).

Mega Million tickets that won $1 million in the past year were sold in Yakima (Oct. 14), Lynnwood (Jan. 4) and Belleuve (June 29).

Powerball only had 21 winning tickets sold in the state of Washington during the past year, none of which were for the full jackpot and none were purchased in Whatcom County, though a ticket worth $50,000 was purchased just across the Skagit County line in Bow. A pair of $1 million tickets were sold in Lake Stevens (Aug. 11) and Port Angeles (Sept. 9) and a $2 million winner was purchased in Tacoma (Jan. 31).

According to powerball.net, Washington only has had one Powerball jackpot winner in 360 that have been awarded. Mega Millions has been a little kinder to the Evergreen State, according to megamillions.com, awarding jackpot winners that were purchased in Hoquiam (2002), North Bend (2006), Ephrata (2011) and Seattle (2016).

According to a tweet by ABC’s Good Morning America, New York and California are the luckiest states to play Powerball in, while Maine, Vermont, Oklahoma, New Mexico, North Dakota, Wyoming and Oregon are the unluckiest:

But maybe, just maybe this time will be different ... And do you really want to miss out if our luck does change?

For those of you new to this all, Mega Millions costs $1 per play and will have its next drawing at 8 p.m. Friday. Drawings also are held Tuesdays, and ticket sales will be cut off at 7:45 p.m. on the evening of drawings. Powerball costs $2 per play, and the next drawing will be held at 7:59 p.m. Saturday. Drawings also are held Wednesdays, and ticket sales will be cut off at 6:45 p.m. on the evenings of drawings.

NJ.com offers answers to 13 burning questions concerning the lotteries, including which is easier to win – for the record, it’s Mega Millions. Odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are 1 in 292 million, while Mega Millions is 1 in 259 million.

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