Do you know that Mega Millions earlier was known as The Big Game. The Big Game was the brainchild of the then-lottery directors Rebecca Paul of the Georgia Lottery and Penelope W. Kyle of the Virginia Lottery in 1996. The Big Game initially was drawn weekly, on Fridays. In January 1999, jackpot winners were given the option to receive their prize in cash. In May 1999, New Jersey joined The Big Game, the only jurisdiction to enter as a participant before The Big Game became Mega Millions in 2002.
Some Important Facts
- The first (The Big Game) Mega Millions drawing was held on May 17 2002.
- The “Big Money Ball” became the “Mega Ball.” While the game’s name was altered, the yellow ball in the new Mega Millions logo continued to read “The Big Game” until February 2003, after which it was replaced with six stars representing the six original members of the consortium.
- The Mega Millions trademark is owned by the Illinois Lottery.
- On October 28, 2017, the price of a Mega Millions play doubled, to $2
- The Mega Millions double matrix changed, from 5/75 + 1/15 to the current 5/70 + 1/25.
- The starting jackpot became $40 million, with minimum rollovers of $5 million.
- The “Megaplier” option(which is not offered in California) was retained, with an adjustment to its multipliers.(The final jackpot for the $1 version was $30 million, which was not won; the initial jackpot for the new version would still be $40 million with a jackpot hit.)
- In preparation for the October 28, 2017 format change the then-46 Mega Millions members were given the choice of offering a $3, two-game play called “Just the Jackpot”. A player choosing this option is not eligible for any of the eight lower-tier prizes; therefore, the Megaplier option is not available for Just the Jackpot wagers.
- These lotteries offered the “Just the Jackpot” option upon the format change: Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Kentucky has since added “Just the Jackpot”, with other lotteries potentially adding it. “Just the Jackpot” wagers and regular Mega Millions plays are printed on separate tickets. Most Just the Jackpot wagers are terminal-generated; however, just the jackpot wagers in Kansas and Texas allow the player to choose their numbers, while Wisconsin players must ask for a terminal-generated ticket.
- As of January 2020, there has yet to be a jackpot winner from a Just the Jackpot wager; there also is no known count of JtJ wagers that would have won second prize(5+0) with a traditional Mega Millions play.
- On April 7, 2020, the Mega Millions starting jackpot amount was temporarily reset from $40 million to $20 million with the annuity option, with at least a $2 million rollover for each drawing without a jackpot winner, due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. This was done to enforce social distancing and discourage crowding of selling venues for large jackpots, and to account for lower interest rates.
Where Can You Play Mega Million Lottery?
You can play Mega Millions in 47 localities (indicated in blue): 45 states plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
With millions of people playing, jackpots can roll to even higher levels at a faster rate. You choose six numbers and there are nine exciting ways to win in the game. You can check with the Mega Millions lottery in the state closest to you for retailer/agent information.
If you are in Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Virginia, or the District of Columbia, you may buy Mega Millions tickets online by registering with the lotteries in those jurisdictions. You may also purchase subscriptions for Mega Millions online in New York. In most cases, you must be residents of these jurisdictions to participate in these purchase options, but in all cases you must be physically within their borders when you make any online ticket purchases. Details may be found on those lotteries’ websites.
How To Play Mega Millions?
Mega Millions tickets cost $2.00 per play.
Players may pick six numbers from two separate pools of numbers – five different numbers from 1 to 70 (the white balls) and one number from 1 to 25 (the gold Mega Ball) – or select Easy Pick/Quick Pick. You win the jackpot by matching all six winning numbers in a drawing.
Until further notice, the starting jackpot will vary based on sales and will be announced before each drawing.
There are a total of nine ways to win a prize in Mega Millions, ranging from the jackpot down to $2.
As said above in some states, a special offer called Just the Jackpot is available. Jackpot players will love this exciting new wager type that allows them to play specifically for the jackpot only. At a price of $3, the player will receive two plays for the jackpot only. Just the Jackpot tickets are not eligible for any other prize levels. To see if the lottery in your jurisdiction offers this option, you can visit that lottery’s website.
Most states offer a Megaplier feature to increase non-jackpot prizes by 2, 3, 4 or 5 times; it costs an additional $1 per play. Before each Mega Millions drawing on Tuesday and Friday nights, the Megaplier is drawn. From a pool of 15 balls, five are marked with 2X, six with 3X, three with 4X and one with 5X.
Note that because Mega Millions is sold by individual lotteries, there is no official game app. Most lotteries have their own apps, which typically contain information about the games they offer, including Mega Millions. Some lotteries’ apps also provide winning number notifications and other useful tools.
What If You Win Mega Million?
If you win Mega Million Jackpot there are two options to get the prizes:
- 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.
- Cash option: A one-time, lump-sum payment that is equal to all the cash in the Mega Millions jackpot prize pool.
In Georgia, New Jersey and Texas, players must choose, in advance, whether they wish to collect a jackpot in cash or annuity. Georgia and New Jersey winners can change an annuity ticket to cash should they be eligible for a jackpot share; however, the choice is binding in Texas.
If a jackpot prize is not claimed within the respective jurisdiction’s time limit, each of the 45 Mega Millions members get back the money they contributed to that jackpot. Each of the 45 lotteries have rules in regards to unclaimed prizes; most Mega Millions members set aside unclaimed winnings for educational purposes.
In 2007, a $31 million prize went unclaimed in New York. Many prizes of $250,000 each have been unclaimed, including several in Michigan for 2007 drawings.
When you win a Mega Millions prize online you will receive an automated email (or SMS) to let you know you’ve won! Prizes worth up to $2,500 will be paid directly into your account soon after the results are published. Note, the jackpot and second place prizes may need to be collected in person. US lottery winnings are subject to State and Federal taxes.
If you are a Mega Millions jackpot winner, you will have the choice of a Cash Option or an Annual Payout. Annuity option: Provides for an initial annual payment followed by 29 annual payments. Each payment is 5 percent larger than the previous one. Cash option: A one-time, lump-sum payment that is equal to all the cash in the Mega Million jackpot prize pool. Prize claim parameters vary from state to state. You can contact your Mega Millions state lottery for detailed information.
All prizes are subject to income taxes.
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
- Mega Millions winners have either 180 days (California non-jackpot prizes only) or one year to claim prizes, including the jackpot (although some Mega Millions winners lose the right to collect a jackpot in cash if they wait more than 60 days after the drawing).
- The minimum age to purchase a Mega Millions ticket is 18, except in Arizona, Iowa and Louisiana, where the minimum is 21, and Nebraska; its minimum is 19. Generally (an exception is Virginia), minors can win on tickets received as gifts; the rules according to each Mega Millions member vary for minors receiving prizes.
- Rules vary according to the applicable laws and regulations in the jurisdiction where the ticket is sold, and the winner’s residence (e.g. if a New Jersey person wins on a ticket bought near their workplace in Manhattan). Mega Millions winnings are exempt from state income tax in California and Pennsylvania, while New Hampshire, Texas and Washington do not have an income tax.
Q1. How can I get the results of Mega Millions Lottery?
You can check the Mega Millions results at their official website. Winning numbers are posted shortly after each drawing. Information on the number of winners is posted on Wednesday and Saturday mornings after Mega Millions lottery security has verified winning ticket sales.
Many individual lotteries offer an email or texting service where you can automatically receive winning numbers after each draw. Find your state lottery website to find the results.. You can also call a player information telephone number in each Mega Millions state. These numbers are listed here.
Q2. When are Mega Millions drawings held?
Mega Millions drawings are held Tuesday and Friday at 11:00 p.m. Eastern Time, 10:00 p.m. Central Time, 9:00 p.m. Mountain Time, 8:00 p.m. Pacific Time. Drawings are held at WSB-TV in Atlanta, Georgia. You can check with your state lottery for the cut-off time to purchase tickets.
Q3. How are Mega Millions Jackpots estimated?
Members of the Mega Millions group meet every Tuesday and Friday morning to determine the game’s estimated jackpots for the next two drawings. Lottery Directors and finance representatives share their state’s individual sales forecasts during that meeting to estimate the total sales that are projected for those drawings. Those sales estimates are then used to determine the estimated cash value of the jackpots and the advertised annuity values, with the annuity value based on that day’s 30-year U.S. Treasuries rate, which can change day to day. The rate on any drawing day is often different from the rate on the previous drawing day, when the jackpot is first estimated.
Q4. Can I redeem Mega Million reward from other states?
Because Mega Millions is sold by individual lotteries, any winning tickets must be redeemed in the state in which they were purchased. Lotteries typically have a claim-by-mail option for most prize levels; you can find details on their websites.
Q5. Can I buy Mega Millions tickets if I live in another country?
Visitors to the United States are always welcome to purchase tickets for this game from an American lottery retailer while they are visiting this country; you do not need to be a resident to win. However, Mega Millions tickets are not sold outside the United States. Mega Millions is not affiliated with and does not endorse any company claiming to sell tickets around the world, online or otherwise. If you choose to do business with one of these companies, you do so at your own risk; Mega Millions rules prohibit the purchase of tickets by agents representing players in other jurisdictions.