After Powerball, the Mega Millions is the second-biggest cross-state lottery in the United States. It is immensely popular because it pays out huge jackpot prizes to the players. A whopping $656 million was awarded as the jackpot of the Mega Millions in 2012. It claimed the world record for the biggest lottery jackpot in history until 2016 when the $1.58 billion jackpot of the US Powerball surpassed it.
Game Rules and Prize Categories
In order to participate in the US Mega Millions lottery, the players are required to select five main numbers from a range of 1 till 70 and one Mega Ball number between 1 and 25. The draws are held on Tuesday and Friday and there is one scheduled for tomorrow that has a jackpot of $377 million. There is a minimum limit set for the Mega Millions jackpot as they start from $40 million can increase to infinite heights.
There are 9 amazing prize categories that players can enjoy in the Mega Millions lottery and the Megaplier game option comes in handy for winning a prize of about $5 million in the 2nd category. Here is a list of the various prize divisions as well as your odds of taking them home:
- For the jackpot, you have to match the five numbers and the Mega Ball. The odds of this are 1:302,575,350.
- For the second prize, you have to match the five numbers. The odds of this are 1:12,607,306.
- For the third prize, you have to match four numbers and the Mega Ball. The odds of this are 1:931,001.
- For the fourth prize, you have to match four numbers. The odds of this are 1:38,792.
- For the fifth prize, you have to match three numbers and the Mega Ball. The odds of this are 1:14,547.
- For the sixth prize, you have to match three numbers. The odds of this are 1: 606.
- For the seventh prize, you have to match two numbers and the Mega Ball. The odds of this are 1: 693.
- For the eighth prize, you have to match 1 number and the Mega Ball. The odds of this are 1:89.
- For the ninth prize, you just need to match the Mega Ball number and the odds of this are 1:37.
Understanding the Megaplier Option
You have the option of multiplying your winnings in the lower prize categories with the help of the Megaplier option. Essentially, it is a multiplier function, but it doesn’t apply to the jackpot. You have to draw the Megaplier number separately and it falls between 1 and 5. Depending on what number you draw, you can double, triple, quadruple or even quintuple your non-jackpot prizes. However, you should bear in mind that Mega Millions is an optional extra and you have to activate it at the time of purchasing your Mega Millions lottery tickets.
Mega Millions Jackpot Payouts
In American lotteries such as the Mega Millions, jackpot winners have the opportunity of taking their prize in cash or in the form of annuities. If you decide to claim your prize in the form of installments i.e. annuities, you are able to get a higher amount as opposed to when you decide to get a lump-sum cash payment. However, you should know that prizes up to $599 are tax-free and after that, federal withholding tax has to be paid and non-residents of the country have to pay additional tax as well. The tax can vary, depending on the state from which you win.
How to Win Mega Millions
You can purchase your tickets for Mega Millions lottery from Mega Millions, which allows you to buy your tickets from the website for a one-time entry or a multiple-draw, as per your wish. If you are not a resident of the country from which the ticket was purchased, a Lottosend representative will collect your winnings and transfer them into your account as per your convenience.
Lottosend also allows you to boost your chances of winning the Mega Millions lottery by purchasing group game tickets. This is often referred to as participating in a lottery syndicate in which you pool together your tickets with other players thereby boosting your odds considerably.
For instance, purchasing a Mega Millions ticket costs you about $2 from the store or $5 online. If you go with the group game option, you purchase shares in a group of tickets online. The groups can include anywhere from 30 to 100 tickets. If you go with a group of 50 tickets, which is the divided into 100 shares and every share is sold separately. In this way, you can buy the group of tickets for a very low price, as low as $0.16 per ticket. If one of the ticket is a winner, the prize is then divided according to the number of shares you hold in the group.
Biggest Mega Millions Jackpots
Mega Millions lottery has produced some massive jackpots and have enabled lots of people to become millionaires overnight. Here are 10 of the biggest jackpots of the Mega Millions lottery:
- The highest jackpot prize is $656 million, which was awarded on March 30th, 2012 and claimed by three winners.
- On December 17, 2013, the jackpot worth $648 million was claimed by two winners.
- The third highest jackpot of Mega Millions is $536 million, which was claimed by a single winner on July 8th, 2016.
- On January 5th, 2018, the jackpot worth $450 million was taken home by a single winner.
- The fifth highest jackpot of the lottery was worth $414 million and was claimed by two winners on March 18, 2014.
- On August 11, 2017, the jackpot worth $393 million was claimed by one winner.
- The seventh highest jackpot of Mega Millions was $390 million and was taken home on March 6th, 2007 by two winners.
- On January 4th, 2011, the jackpot of about $380 million was claimed by two winners.
- The ninth highest jackpot of Mega Millions was awarded on August 28th, 2009 and $336 million were divided in two winners.
- On August 31st, 2007, $330 million were won by four people.