|Mega Millions is a US multi-jurisdictional lottery game. Since May 2002, Mega Millions‘ advertised jackpots have started at US$12 million paid over 26 yearly installments (unless the cash option is chosen), increasing when there is no jackpot winner. Reflecting common practice among American lotteries, the jackpot is advertised as a nominal value of annual installments. A lump sum (cash value) option, when chosen by a jackpot winner, pays the approximate present value of the installments.|
Mega Millions currently holds the record for the largest US lottery jackpot, set on March 6, 2007, when two tickets, one each from Georgia and New Jersey, split a prize of $390 million (annuity). Both winners chose the cash option.
Tickets went on sale in Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan and Virginia on August 31, 1996, for the lottery then known as The Big Game. Drawings were held weekly on Fridays.
The Georgia Lottery was a member of MUSL (The Multi-State Lottery Organization) at the time and wanted to sell both games for the remainder of that year. However, within a few days, Georgia was forcibly removed from MUSL.Beginning in January 1999, jackpot winners had the choice to claim the prize in cash.
In May 1999, New Jersey joined The Big Game, the only jurisdiction to do so before the name change to Mega Millions. New York and Ohio joined The Big Game on May 15, 2002. This was when the game was changed to its second name, The Big Game Mega Millions, temporarily retaining the old name, and its „gold ball“ logo. After the game’s name was altered, the yellow ball in the logo of the Mega Millions read „The Big Game.“ The first (The Big Game) Mega Millions drawing was held on May 17, 2002. Three more lotteries later joined: Washington (September 2002), Texas (2003), and California (2005). California joined Mega Millions in 2010. Montana joined Mega Millions on March 1, 2010.
How it works:
Since June 2005, a player picks, or allows the lottery terminal to pick, five different numbers from 1 to 56 (white balls) and one number from 1 to 46 (the Mega Ball number, a gold-colored ball). The Mega Ball number is drawn from a separate machine, so it can be a duplicate of one of the white ball numbers. The Mega Ball number cannot cross over to be used for matching a white ball number, or vice versa.
|Normal balls(pool of 56)||Mega ball(pool of 46)|