Check Your Pockets, You Could Be a Millionaire

March 19, 2014 – After Tuesday night’s $400 million Mega Millions jackpot was split by two winning tickets, people who missed out on the giant jackpot could be feeling discouraged, but there are nine ways to win Mega Millions – don’t forget to check tickets for other prize wins.

That’s what Robert Manning, from Springfield, Va., did as he cleaned out his wallet this week.  One of several Powerball tickets taking up space in Manning’s wallet matched the five white numbers in the March 5 Powerball drawing, winning Manning a $1 million prize.

We all do the same thing – buy a ticket, stuff it into your wallet and forget about it for a few days.  Or, maybe your tickets are in plain sight.  A Mega Millions ticket has hung from a magnet on my refrigerator for weeks – I’ve only just realized it’s worth $3.

Why do we so easily forget that the jackpot isn’t the only prize with Mega Millions or Powerball?

The answer lies somewhere in our reactions to “jackpot fever” and “jackpot fatigue,” two psychological phenomenon that have been in the news quite a bit lately as Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots continue to break records.

When we buy a ticket amidst jackpot fever, we immediately start building our wish list for after winning.  Then, when ours isn’t the one ticket in more than 250 million that hits the jackpot, those dreams are dashed.

Jackpot fatigue has been used to describe the sharp decrease in ticket sales after a large jackpot is won.  Players hoping for hundreds of millions of dollars don’t see, say Powerball’s $40 million starting jackpot as “big enough,” so they don’t buy more tickets.

However, jackpot fatigue might also explain why players who win smaller prizes don’t check their tickets or even cash them in at all.

Because what item on my jackpot wish list is the $3 ticket on my fridge going to afford?  Not much, right?  Like most people, I’m more interested in re-investing that $3 on more tickets.

Here’s the problem, though, for players who feel that if they didn’t win the jackpot, they probably didn’t win anything else exciting: the tickets you don’t check, the ones you walk by as they hang off your fridge, they could be worth millions.

Both Powerball and Mega Millions offer $1 million second prizes for players who match the first five numbers drawn.  Then, with the Power Play and Megaplier options, those second prize winnings can be multiplied to multi-millions.

Powerball’s highest prize is worth $2 million, and Mega Millions second prizes can be worth as much as $5 million.

So double-check.  What’s a few minutes to compare numbers or scan a barcode, especially if it could be worth thousands or millions of dollars?

And, if that’s too much of a time commitment for your busy lifestyle, LotteryHUB is here to help.  iOS and Android users can download the free LotteryHUB mobile app and take advantage of LotteryHUB’s ticket tracking tools.

Never miss a winning ticket again.

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Written by Matt Isaacs

Matt is the Editorial Manager for the LotteryHUB News Team. Matt graduated from Rutgers University’s School of Journalism and Media Studies in May 2013