Mega Million like Powerball is the most popular and widely played lottery game. Earlier this lottery game was named as Big Game and now is offered in 44 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Mega Millions is drawn at 11 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday and Friday evenings, including holidays. Mega Millions is administered by a consortium of its 12 original lotteries; the drawings are held at the studios of WSB-TV in Atlanta, Georgia, supervised by the Georgia Lottery.
Under the current version’s regulations which began October 28, 2017 with the first drawing October 31 for Mega Millions, the minimum Mega Millions advertised jackpot is $40 million, paid in 30 graduated yearly installments, increasing 5 percent each year. The jackpot increases when there is no top-prize winner. As of December 13, 2017, there has yet to be a jackpot winner under the current Mega Millions format, including wagers for the newly created Just the Jackpot option.
Each game costs $2. Of the 46 Mega Millions jurisdictions, all but California offer an option, called Megaplier (plays with the Megaplier are $3 each) where non-jackpot prizes are multiplied by 2, 3, 4, or 5. The Megaplier was made available to all Mega Millions jurisdictions in January 2011; it began as an option available only in Texas.
The October 28, 2017 Mega Millions’ format change resulted in the game’s first price increase: plays are $2 each ($3 with the Megaplier; up from $1 and $2 respectively); as part of the format change, the “Just the Jackpot” option was introduced to seven of the game’s members. The new option is two plays for $3; only the jackpot can be won (or shared) on this wager.
The Mega Mllion $533 million winner wanted prize in Cash
The latest Mega Millions winner (as of April 2018) of the $533 million lottery, Richard Wahl of Vernon came to lottery headquarters to accept his check because he wanted to take his lottery jackpot in cash.
The sole winner of the world’s 10th largest lottery jackpot moved last year to New Jersey and works as a production manager at food-service manufacturer. Richard Wahl, 47, of Vernon Township, N.J., bought his Mega Millions ticket, worth $533 million, the day before the March 30 2018 drawing at a convenience store located on a route to work. He opted to take $324 million in cash now rather than the full value in installments over 30 years.
“We’re a humble family, and we’re going to keep our roots,” Wahl said as lottery officials presented his oversized check. “We are not the type to run out and spend all the money and have a great time and party it up.”
Ameer Krass, who identified Wahl earlier by looking at video surveillance footage around the time officials said the winning ticket was sold, called Wahl a regular at his gas station mini-mart but kept mum on the winner’s name.
Wahl moved to New Jersey in July 2018 from Michigan and works at AAK Foodservice. He said he and his family had not made a decision about moving, but his decision for the cash prize means he will collect about $175 million after federal, state and local taxes.
At first, Wahl said he looked at the ticket, his gateway to the fourth largest Mega Millions jackpot, and thought he had won $1 million.
“I was excited, life-changing money,” he said. He became emotional when recounting the moment he realized he had won the grand prize.
“It didn’t sink in. It was truly amazing.” Wahl said he walked upstairs and told his wife they were going on vacation. “We hit it,” he told her.
Then they reviewed the numbers about 15 times more just to be sure, put the valuable ticket in a fireproof safe and didn’t leave the house all weekend, he said. Wahl would like to rebuild a 1964 Corvette and said he hopes to do charity work with the winnings. He already has consulted a team of financial experts, who were present at the lottery’s news conference.
“For us, we believe God has a plan,” Wahl said. “It’s not only life-changing money for me, we want it to be life-changing money for others — family, friends, people in need.”
His mother has been on a reduced income in recent times, he said. Now he will be able to help her.
Unlike some other states, lottery winners in New Jersey don’t have an option to remain anonymous, New Jersey Lottery officials said. They are also required to participate in a news conference.
So can you also get cash prize if you win Mega Millions Lottery?
Yes like Richard Wahl you can get cash prize if you win Mega Millions lottery.
If you win a Mega Millions jackpot, you will choose how to be paid: Cash Option or Annual Payout. Prize claim parameters vary from state to state. So you need to contact your Mega Millions lottery for detailed information.
Annuity option: The Mega Millions annuity is paid out as one immediate payment followed by 29 annual payments. Each payment is 5% bigger than the previous one. This helps protect winners’ lifestyle and purchasing power in periods of inflation.
For a typical jackpot of $100 million, the initial payment would be about $1.5 million, and future annual payments would grow to about $6.2 million.
When the jackpot is $200 million, each payment is twice as big. When the jackpot is $50 million, each payment is half as big, etc.
Cash option: A one-time, lump-sum payment that is equal to the cash in the Mega Millions jackpot prize pool.
All prizes are subject to income taxes. For tax-withholding information, check with your Mega Millions lottery.
If you have won you’ve got two ways to collect your prize:
- Just take your winning ticket to a Lottery retailer and the clerk will hand you cash on the spot not more than $599.
- If you can’t get to a retailer, get a claim form online or from the state where you are playing and mail it at the respective lottery state address.
Claim periods vary by jurisdiction based on local rules and regulations, so the time period for claiming prizes ranges from 90 days to one year from the draw date. You need to check with the lottery in the state where your ticket was purchased to get the applicable claim period for that ticket.
Mega Millions drawings are held Tuesday and Friday at 11:00 pm ET. Five balls are drawn from a set of balls numbered 1 through 70; one ball is drawn from a set of balls numbered 1 through 25. You win if the numbers on one row of your ticket match the numbers of the balls drawn on that date. There are nine ways to win a prize, from $2 to the jackpot. If no one wins the jackpot, the money is added to the jackpot for the next drawing. Overall chances of winning a prize are 1 in 24.