# Mega Millions

(Redirected from Mega millions lottery)

Mega Millions (initially called The Big Game Mega Millions as the successor of The Big Game) is an American multi-jurisdictional lottery game. The first (The Big Game) Mega Millions drawing was in 2002 (see below).

### October 2013 format change

The final 5/56 + 1/46 Mega Millions drawing was held on October 18, 2013; its jackpot of $37 million was not won. The first drawing under the current 5/75 + 1/15 format, which saw the jackpot estimate "leap" to$55 million due to the change in the annuity structure, occurred on October 22. The minimum jackpot is now $15 million with rollovers of at least$5 million. Second prize (5+0) is now $1 million cash. Players now choose 5 of 75 white ball numbers, and 1 "Gold Ball" number out of 15. The Megaplier option remains; it now includes a 5x multiplier. The Megaplier now applies to all prizes except the jackpot; a 5+0 play with the Megaplier wins$5 million cash.

Former (through October 18, 2013) and current prize tiers, based on a $1 play: • Match 5+0:$250,000/$1 million • Match 4+MB:$10,000/$5,000 • Match 4+0:$150/$500 • Match 3+MB:$150/$50 • Match 3+0:$7/$5 • Match 2+MB:$10/$5 • Match 1+MB:$3/$2 • Match 0+MB:$2/$1 Payouts in California remain pari-mutuel. The odds of winning the jackpot are decreased to 1 in about 258.9 million. The odds of winning a prize has increased to 1 in 14.71, but this also includes the "push" scenario (where the money won in the prize matches the amount of the wager, as is the case when a player not activating the Megaplier matches only the "Mega Ball"; or with the Megaplier if it is 2x); thus, the odds of turning a profit on any given bet is less than advertised. Matches & Odds • 5 numbers and the Mega Ball: 1 in 258,890,850 • 5 numbers but not the Mega Ball: 1 in 18,492,204 • 4 numbers and the Mega Ball: 1 in 739,688 • 4 numbers but not the Mega Ball: 1 in 52,835 • 3 numbers and the Mega Ball: 1 in 10,720 • 3 numbers but not the Mega Ball: 1 in 766 • 2 numbers and the Mega Ball: 1 in 473 • 1 number and the Mega Ball: 1 in 56 • Mega Ball ONLY: 1 in 21†[11] †The odds for matching only the Mega Ball, 1 in 21, reflect the possibility of also matching at least one of the white balls. The overall odds of winning any prize in Mega Millions is 1 in 15, accounting for all nine prize categories. The annuity, which was 20 annual payments (no cash option was available) when The Big Game began, changed from 26 equal yearly installments to 30 graduated annual payments (increasing 5% per annum) with the October 19, 2013 format change. ## Record jackpots The largest Mega Millions jackpot, advertised as$640 million at the time of the drawing (annuitized) or $462 million (cash value), was drawn on March 30, 2012. The initial estimate for that Friday's drawing (following the March 27 drawing, which was$363 million annuity) was $476 million (later increased to$500 million and again to $540 million); brisk ticket sales pushed the jackpot values, both annuitized (to$656 million) and the cash option ($474 million) higher. The amount spent on Mega Millions for drawings following its previous jackpot win, on January 24, 2012, was at least$1.5 billion.[12] Three jackpot-winning tickets had been confirmed (one each in Illinois, Kansas, and Maryland).[13]

Mega Millions' second-largest jackpot, $648 million, was for the December 17, 2013 drawing. Two winning tickets, one each from California and Georgia, were sold. The holder of the one sold in California potentially will share the jackpot, if claimed. The holder of the Georgia ticket claimed the next morning, selecting the cash option, which amounts to$173,819,742.50 before taxes. (If claimed, the California ticket holder(s) would receive an equal share, but receive a larger after-withholding amount, as California does not tax lottery winnings.)"[2][3][4][14]

Mega Millions' third-largest jackpot, $400 million, was for the March 18, 2014 drawing. Two tickets, one each from Florida and Maryland, split the prize; the winners have not yet chosen their payout option.[15] Mega Millions' fourth-largest jackpot,$390 million, was for the March 6, 2007 drawing. Two tickets, one each from Georgia and New Jersey, split the then-record prize; both sets of winners chose the cash option, splitting $233 million (as noted below, interest rates change, resulting in different ratios between the cash values and annuity values of jackpots). Mega Millions' fifth-largest jackpot annuity value ($380 million), and second-largest cash jackpot ($240 million), was for the January 4, 2011 drawing; two tickets, one each from Post Falls, Idaho and Ephrata, Washington, matched all six winning numbers, winning$190 million (annuity) each. The holders of each ticket also chose the cash option.

## How the drawings are held

Two drawing machines are used in Mega Millions. The model used for Mega Millions is the Criterion II, manufactured by Smartplay International of Edgewater Park, New Jersey. The balls are moved around by means of counter-rotating arms which randomly mix the balls. One by one, the five white ball numbers drop through a hole in the bottom of the mixing drum. As of October 19, 2013, there are respectively 75 white balls in the first machine and the 15 gold-colored Mega Balls in the second machine.

## Versions of (The Big Game) Mega Millions

Versions of The Big Game and Mega Millions have used different matrices:

Start Date Pick 5 out of Pick 1 out of Jackpot odds
September 6, 1996 50 25 1:52,969,000
January 13, 1999 50 36 1:76,275,360
May 15, 2002 52 52 1:135,145,920
June 22, 2005 56 46 1:175,711,536
October 19, 2013 75 15 1:258,890,850

### Megaplier

Mega Millions players, in 44 of its 45 jurisdictions, have the option to activate a multiplier, called Megaplier; it is functionally similar to the original version of Powerball's Power Play (Megaplier is not offered in California, because of California Lottery regulations that require pari-mutuel payouts in all draw games). By doubling the wager in a game (to $2), players have an opportunity to multiply any non-jackpot prize by 2, 3, 4 or 5. The Megaplier is drawn by the Texas Lottery (before the cross-sell expansion on January 31, 2010, it was the only lottery to offer Megaplier) by a random number generator (RNG). Prior to Powerball's price increase and subsequent change to a fixed prize table for Power Play, Megaplier differs from Power Play in that the odds for each Megaplier possibility are not uniform.[16] Megaplier Odds (through October 18, 2013) 2x 2:21 (9.5%) 3x 7:21 (33.3%) 4x 12:21 (57.1%) The extra weighting for a higher Megaplier results in the average expected Megaplier to be 3.476x. Megaplier wagers made for drawings from September 12, 2010 through October 18, 2013 that won second prize were automatically elevated to 4x, winning$1 million. This "guarantee" did not carry over to the current version of Mega Millions, although the $1 million second prize becomes$5 million if the Megaplier is 5x.

### Winning and probability

The current winning chart from October 19, 2013:[17]

Matches[18] Prize Approximate
probability
of winning
Normal balls
(pool of 75)
Mega ball
(pool of 15)
5 1 Jackpot[19] 1 in 258,890,850
5 0 $1 million 1 in 18,492,204 4 1$5,000 1 in 739,688
4 0 $500 1 in 52,835 3 1$50 1 in 10,720
3 0 $5 1 in 766 2 1$5 1 in 473
1 1 $2 1 in 56 0 1$1 1 in 21

The probability and odds can be taken into a mathematical perspective, for example: The probability of winning the jackpot is 1:(75C5) x (15). (75 ways for the first ball x 74 ways for the second x 73 for third x 72 for fourth x 71 for fifth)/ (5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1) or 5! (five factorial) and this number is then multiplied by 15 (15 possible numbers for the "Megaball"). Therefore, (75 x 74 x 73 x 72 x 71)/ (5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1) x 15 = 258,890,850, which basically means one has a 1 :258,890,850 chance of winning the jackpot. Similarly, with the odds for the $1M prize are a 1:(75C5) x (15/14) = 1: 18,492,204 chance of winning. The overall probability of winning any prize is 1 in 14.7. If there are no jackpot winners for specific drawing(s), the jackpot will keep increasing, however, the odds will still remain the same. Mega Millions has an "equal payout" after it reaches$363 million. This takes into account the smaller prizes and the taxes associated with the payouts. This calculation assumes that one does not buy the 'megaplier' as this additional $1 only returns an extra$0.38 of profit on average. Additionally, this assumes that the jackpot is never split, which they often are. When considering only the jackpot (and negating smaller prizes and taxes), one would have to buy 258.9 million tickets in order to ensure that one wins; this allows for profit with a jackpot higher than that amount.

The winning chart prior to October 18, 2013:

Matches[18] Prize Approximate
probability
of winning
Normal balls
(pool of 56)
Mega ball
(pool of 46)
5 1 Jackpot[19] 1 in 175,711,536 (56C5×46)[20][21]
5 0 $250,000 1 in 3,904,701 (56C5×46/45)[22] 4 1$10,000 1 in 689,065 [23]
4 0 $150 1 in 15,313[24] 3 1$150 1 in 13,781[25]
2 1 $10 1 in 844[26] 3 0$7 1 in 306[27]
1 1 $3 1 in 141[28] 0 1$2 1 in 74.8 (the probability for this prize is not 1:46, because there is the possibility of matching at least one of the "white" balls, which decreases the likelihood of matching only the "Mega Ball")[17]

Overall probabilities: 1 in 755 of winning sixth prize or higher,[17] 1 in 40 of winning any prize.[29]

In California, prize levels are paid on a parimutuel basis, rather than the fixed lower-tier amounts for winners in other Mega Millions jurisdictions. California's eight lower-tier Mega Millions prize pools are separate from those shared by the other 44 lotteries. California's second prize is a "secondary jackpot"; its payout sometimes exceeds $1 Million cash, even though California does not offer the Megaplier.[30] ### Payment options 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.[31][32] In 2007, a$31 million prize went unclaimed in New York.[33] Many prizes of $250,000 each have been unclaimed, including several in Michigan for 2007 drawings.[34] ### Claiming prizes 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 Jerseyan 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. On the other hand, some residents of New York City and Yonkers, New York pay three levels of income tax, as these cities levy income taxes. ## Drawings Drawings are usually held at the studios of WSB-TV in Atlanta, Georgia.[1][35] The original host was WSB's chief meteorologist, Glenn Burns. Currently, most drawings are emceed by the full-time host of Georgia Lottery drawings, John Crow, with Brian Hooker substituting on occasion. For very large jackpots, the drawing sometimes is moved to Times Square in New York City, with New York Lottery announcer Yolanda Vega co-hosting. Before January 31, 2010, Mega Millions was the only multi-jurisdictional lottery whose drawings were carried nationally, instead of airing only in participating jurisdictions. Powerball drawings also began to air after that date nationally via Chicago-based cable superstation WGN-TV. WGN simulcasts Mega Millions drawings on its national WGN America feed on Tuesdays and Fridays immediately following WGN's 9 p.m. (Central Time) newscast with Powerball drawings being aired on Wednesdays and Saturdays after said newscast (though both drawings air a minute later than on some television stations that carry either drawing). WGN serves as a default carrier of both Mega Millions and Powerball in certain participating states of either or both games where no local television station carries either multi-jurisdictional lottery's drawings (such as Oklahoma). ## Record jackpots (listed by cash value) Cash value (in millions USD) Annuity value (in millions USD) Drawing date Winner(s) Description$474 $656 March 30, 2012 3 (MD, KS, IL) World's largest jackpot (cash or annuity)$347.639485[14] $648[4] December 17, 2013 2 (CA, GA) 2nd largest annuity value$240 $380 January 4, 2011 2 (ID, WA)$233 $390 March 6, 2007 2 (GA, NJ)$224 $400 March 18, 2014 2 (FL, MD)$210 $336 August 28, 2009 2 (NY, CA) NY winner chose annuity (the cash/annuity choice made "when playing" required per then-NY Lottery rules)$208.3 $330 August 31, 2007 4 (NJ, MD, TX, VA)$202.9 $319 March 25, 2011 1 (Albany, NY) Largest Mega Millions jackpot ever won on 1 ticket[36]$180 $363 May 9, 2000 2 (IL, MI) Largest The Big Game jackpot ## Revenue Approximately 50 percent of Mega Millions sales is returned to players as prizes; the remainder is split (each lottery has different rules regarding these funds) among retailers, marketing, and operations, as well as the 45 jurisdictions offering the game; different lotteries uses the proceeds in different ways.[37] ## Miscellany In the aftermath of the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, the legislature in Albany, fearing a monumental loss of revenue, passed legislation the following month, which was signed by Governor George Pataki, that included joining a multi-jurisdictional lottery game. Around the same time, for entirely different reasons, Ohio's governor also gave the green light to joining a multi-jurisdictional game. Both lotteries opted to join the then-The Big Game, which, at the time, had seven members. The added populations of the two new jurisdictions, in turn, led to a larger double matrix. The first machine continued to hold 52 balls, while 16 gold balls were added in the second, meaning there were 52 numbers to pick from in each part of a$1 game. On May 15, 2002, the game was renamed The Big Game Mega Millions; soon after, it became just Mega Millions. Except for the 2010 cross-selling expansion, this was the only time The Big Game, Mega Millions or Powerball simultaneously added more than one lottery.

In 2005, Mega Millions was the target of a mailing scam. A letter bearing the Mega Millions logo was used in a string of lottery scams designed to trick people into providing personal financial information by cashing bogus checks. The letter, which had been sent to people in several states via standard mail, included a check for what the scammers said was an unclaimed Mega Millions prize. If the check was cashed, it bounced, but not before the bank stamped it with a routing number and personal account information and sent it back to the fraudulent organization, providing them with the recipients' financial information.[38]

A budget impasse due to the 2006 New Jersey Government shutdown led to the temporary closing of its non-essential agencies on July 1, 2006. Among the casualties were the Atlantic City casinos and the New Jersey Lottery. Not only were New Jersey's in-house games (such as Pick-6) not drawn for about a week, but all New Jersey lottery terminals were shut down, meaning Mega Millions could not be played in New Jersey, even though Mega Millions was drawn as usual. A similar shutdown happened in Minnesota on July 1, 2011.

Elecia Battle made national headlines in January 2004 when she claimed that she had lost the winning ticket in the December 30, 2003 Mega Millions drawing.[39] She then filed a lawsuit against the woman who had come forward with the ticket, Rebecca Jemison. Several days later, when confronted with contradictory evidence, she admitted that she had lied.[40] Battle was charged with filing a false police report the following day. As a result of this false report, she was fined $1,000, ordered to perform 50 hours of community service, and required to compensate the police and courts for various costs incurred.[41] The January 4, 2011 Mega Millions drawing drew attention for its similarity to "The Numbers," a sequence of six numbers that served as a plot device of the ABC drama series Lost. One such usage involved character Hugo "Hurley" Reyes playing the sequence in a similar "Mega Lotto" game, winning a nine-figure jackpot and subsequently experiencing numerous misfortunes in his personal life. The first three numbers (4, 8, 15) and mega ball (42) in the Mega Millions drawing matched the first three numbers and the final number (which Hurley also used as the "mega ball" number) in the Lost sequence. The last two numbers in the Mega Millions drawing did not match the last two numbers that were used in the scene. Those who played "The Numbers", including from quick-picks, won$150 ($118 in California) in a non-Megaplier game;$600 with the multiplier.[42]

The 12 original (before the 2010 cross-sell expansion) Mega Millions members have each produced at least one Mega Millions jackpot winner.

## Notes

1. ^ a b c d "Mega Millions FAQs". Megamillions.com. Retrieved 2013-12-17.
2. ^ a b c "Mega Millions Official Home". Megamillions.com. Retrieved 2013-12-17.
3. ^ a b "2 winning tickets in $636M Mega Millions drawing - CBS News". CBS News with contributions from Associated Press. 2013-12-18. Retrieved 2013-12-18. 4. ^ a b c "Historic mega-jackpot split by two tickets". Mega Millions. 2013-12-18. Retrieved 2013-12-19. 5. ^ "Mega Millions Increases Final Jackpot to$656M - ABC News". Associated Press via ABC News. 2012-04-02. Archived from the original on 2012-04-04. Retrieved 2013-12-18.
6. ^ "Mega Power Lottery". Worldlottery.net. Retrieved 2011-12-21.
7. ^ "Mega Millions with Megaplier: Maine State Lottery". Mainelottery.com. 2013-09-24. Retrieved 2013-12-18.
8. ^ "California's First Mega Millions Jackpot Winners The Lucky Seven -- Claim Prize". Mega Millions. 2005-11-18. Archived from the original on 2013-01-21. Retrieved 2013-12-18.
9. ^ "Mega Millions Jackpot History". Megamillions.com. 2013-09-29. Archived from the original on 2013-09-29. Retrieved 2013-12-18.
10. ^ "Rocky Face man wins half of record $390M jackpot". Megamillions.com. Archived from the original on 2008-09-06. Retrieved 2013-12-18. 11. ^ Bicker, Benjamin (2013-10-22). "MegaMillions | Lotto Results, Winning Numbers, News & More". Lotto-results-online.com. Retrieved 2013-12-18. 12. ^ Matt Stevens; Carol J. Williams (March 31, 2012). "Mega Millions mania leads to disappointment in California". Los Angeles Times. 13. ^ "Winning tickets for Mega Millions jackpot sold in Maryland, Illinois". CNN. 2012-03-31. Retrieved 2012-03-31. 14. ^ a b "Georgia Mega Millions jackpot winner comes forward". Georgia Lottery via Mega Millions. 2013-12-18. Retrieved 2013-12-19. 15. ^ Winners in Fla., Md. for$400M Mega Millions jackpot
16. ^ "Mega Millions :: The official Web site of the Missouri Lottery". Molottery.com. Retrieved 2011-12-21.
17. ^ a b c "How To Play". Mega Millions. Retrieved 2013-12-18.
18. ^ a b Prizes are uniform in all Mega Millions jurisdictions, with the exception of California, in which all prizes, including the jackpot, are pari-mutuel (payouts are based on sales and the number of winners of each prize level.) All other Mega Millions members' second through ninth prizes are set amounts, although in rare cases they can be reduced.
19. ^ a b If more than one play wins the jackpot in a given drawing, the prize is divided equally among 5+1 plays. Winners have one year to collect a jackpot share; for other prizes, the deadline also is one year, except in California, where it is 180 days. Other than in and Texas (see below), a jackpot winner has 60 days from either the drawing, or in some jurisdictions, after claiming, to choose cash or annuity. The relative value of actual cash jackpot share fluctuates. Jackpots begin at $15 million (disbursed in 30 graduated annual payments if the annuity is chosen); the corresponding cash value fluctuates depending on interest rates. 20. ^ "(56 choose 5)*46". Google. 2013-12-18. Retrieved 2013-12-18. 21. ^ Sal Khan. "Mega Millions Jackpot Probability". Khan Academy. 22. ^ ((56 choose 5)*46)/((5 choose 5)*(51 choose 0)*45) - Google Search 23. ^ ((56 choose 5)*46)/((5 choose 4)*(51 choose 1)) - Google Search 24. ^ ((56 choose 5)*46)/((5 choose 4)*(51 choose 1)*45) - Google Search 25. ^ ((56 choose 5)*46)/((5 choose 3)*(51 choose 2)) - Google Search 26. ^ ((56 choose 5)*46)/((5 choose 2)*(51 choose 3)) - Google Search 27. ^ ((56 choose 5)*46)/((5 choose 3)*(51 choose 2)*45) - Google Search 28. ^ ((56 choose 5)*46)/((5 choose 1)*(51 choose 4)) - Google Search 29. ^ Lotto Numbers 30. ^ "CA Lottery Regulations". California Lottery. 2012-09-27. Retrieved 2013-12-18. 31. ^ kowens (2011-10-20). "Frequently Asked Questions". Calottery.com. Retrieved 2011-12-21. 32. ^ "What Happens to Unclaimed Prizes?". Michigan.gov. 2010-02-01. Retrieved 2011-12-21. 33. ^ "Many major U.S. lottery prizes unclaimed". UPI.com. 2007-12-06. Retrieved 2011-12-21. 34. ^ Michigan.gov , Lottery - Top Unclaimed Prizes 35. ^ "Mega Millions Drawing Time". Archived from the original on 2013-07-19. Retrieved 2013-12-18. 11:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesdays and Fridays 36. ^ Boniello, Kathianne; Scott, Brendan (March 26, 2011). "Seven state workers haul in$319M Mega jackpot". New York Post.
37. ^
38. ^ "Mega Millions Logo Officials Warn of Lottery scams". ScamFraudAlert. 2011-11-28. Retrieved 2011-12-21.
39. ^ "Women argue over 'lost' jackpot". BBC News. 2004-01-06. Retrieved 2008-02-19.
40. ^ "Midwest: Ohio: Apology For Lottery Claim". The New York Times. 2004-01-09. Retrieved 2008-02-19.
41. ^ "Midwest: Ohio: Lottery Tale Costs Her $6,596". The New York Times. 2004-04-07. Retrieved 2008-02-19. 42. ^ Bonner, Jessie et al. (2011-01-05). 2 winners for$380M lottery sold in Wash., Idaho. Associated Press. Retrieved 2011-01-05.