Mega millions

Mega Millions Ticket Sold in California Desert Town Misses Jackpot by One Number

Someone who bought a Mega Millions lottery ticket at a store in Baker, California matched five out of six numbers in Tuesday's drawing.

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Close counts for something when it comes to a lottery jackpot in the neighborhood of $1 billion.

The buyer of a Mega Millions ticket at the Country Store in the Southern California desert town of Baker won $2.9 million by matching five out of six numbers in Tuesday's drawing. The ticket matched every number except the Mega number, which would have made it worth the $830 million jackpot.

The lucky winner hasn't publicly stepped forward to claim the prize, which was part of the Tuesday's highly anticipated drawing.

The County Store will receive a bonus of $14,500 for selling the ticket.

The Country Store in Baker, California is pictured on May 30, 2013.
The Country Store in Baker, California is pictured on May 30, 2013. (Photo by Jim Steinfeldt/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Baker, a high desert town known as the "Gateway to Death Valley" and home to the "World's Largest Thermometer," is on the western end of the Mojave National Preserve in the desert about 175 miles northeast of Los Angeles. It is a San Bernardino County waypoint on the 15 Freeway between LA and Las Vegas.

Eight tickets matched the five white balls -- two each in New Jersey and New York, and one each in California, Florida, Illinois and Ohio. The ticket sold in Ohio is worth $3 million because the lottery player included the Megaplier, which was 3X.

With no jackpot winners in the drawing, the top prize ballooned to a staggering $1.02 billion. The estimated jackpot for Friday's drawing will be the nation's fourth-largest lottery prize ever.

No one has matched all six numbers in the game since April 15. That's 29 straight drawings without a jackpot winner.

Tuesday’s numbers were: 07-29-60-63-66, Mega Ball: 15.

The odds of winning the next jackpot are 1 in 302.5 million.

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