Ever heard of Mega Millions? This is one of the biggest lotto jackpots in the United States, attracting sums to the tune of billions. For example, in 2018, a ticket sold in South Carolina won a whopping $1.537 billion, while in 2021, a Michigan ticket won a cool $1.05 billion.
If Mega Millions sounds like something worth participating in, there are several things players must understand. That's what today's piece is all about.
Mega Millions' gameplay is pretty much the same as Powerball's, another top-drawer lottery that holds the record for the biggest lotto jackpot in history; $1.586 billion. The two are the most talked-about lotteries on lotto ranking sites and the lottery world.
In Mega Millions, there are two drums. The first has balls marked from 1 to 70 (White Balls) - Powerball's is 69. In the second pool, there are balls marked from 1 to 25 (Gold Mega Balls), just like in Powerball.
The game's objective is to match the six winning numbers; five from the first pool (white balls) and the mega ball. Players can choose to manually select the balls or use the Quick Pick/Easy Pick feature, and the numbers will be selected automatically by a Random Number Generator.
To start, Mega Millions is available in 45 states and two other jurisdictions; the United States Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia. These are the regions where tickets can be legally sold at convenience stores, groceries, gas stations, etc. However, participants can still buy Mega Millions tickets online.
A single Mega Millions ticket costs $2. For the record, Mega Millions also has a multiplier feature known as Megaplier. It works in the same way as Powerball's Power Play, only that this time, the multipliers for non-jackpot prizes are 2, 3, 4, or 5 times. A Megaplier ticket costs $1.
There's also an exciting addition in Mega Millions known as Just the Jackpot. For $3, players get two plays for the Mega Millions jackpot only. These plays are not eligible for any other Mega Millions prize.
Just like all other lotteries, the chances of winning Mega Millions are slim. For example, the odds of winning the jackpot is 1 in 302,575,350, while that of the $1,000,000 prize money is 1 in 12,607,306. To win $2, the odds are 1 in 37, while the overall odds of winning anything is 1 in 24. Indeed, it's hard to win in Mega Millions but remember, many have done it.
Mega Millions is a legitimate lottery that pays all winners. But then, players must understand that this lottery attracts taxes. In most states, both the federal and state tax rules apply. But in a few states, only the federal tax rules are applicable. Lottery taxes are pretty high, considering the biggest Mega Millions winner took home just $877.8 million from $1.537 billion as a lump sum after a 37% federal tax and South Carolina's 7%.
There are two payout options. Winners can choose to get a lump sum or annuity. In lump sum, all the money is paid out at once. However, it's lesser than the actual amount won. In the annuity option, the money is paid in 30 installments. Immediate payment is made, followed by 29 yearly installments. Here, the total payout is more than the actual jackpot by 5%.
Considering $2 Mega Millions ticket can rake in billions, this is a lottery worth trying. Players can buy more tickets, or join lotto pools and clubs to increase their winning chances.