The multi-state Mega Millions is considered the second-largest lottery draw game in the United States. The reason it is second to the Powerball game is just a preference for players and the likelihood of the jackpots.
Powerball holds the world’s highest jackpot record of $1.586 billion, won on Jan. 13, 2016. It only took about two more years to reach that same jackpot level, as Mega Millions history recorded $1.537 billion had been won on Oct. 23, 2018.
Mega Millions is playable in 44 states, as well as Washington, D.C., the US Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Be sure to check your area to see if you can play.
On April 2, 2020, it was announced that the Mega Millions starting jackpot amount will change from $40 million to a guaranteed $20 million (annuitized prize) with at least a $2 million after that, only when no one wins the jackpot between future subsequent drawings.
There also will be no minimum jackpot increase for each roll. Previously, the minimum roll increase was $5 million.
The draw cutoff is subject to at least an hour before when the draw of the night happens. Drawing times are Tuesday and Friday at 10:59 p.m. ET. In-store ticket sales resume for the next draw after the drawing is completed. Online ticket sales for the next draw start after 10:45 p.m. on the night of the draw.
The Mega Millions Consortium and the Powerball Product Group will take the time to figure out how long the changes will be in place. The two games are operated independently from each other, so any changes in one group do not mean changes for both of the groups.
The current estimated jackpot is worth $336 million. The next draw date will be Tuesday, as the game is drawn only on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Specific Purchasing Times: In-store sales and online purchases for the current draw, are available until 10:45 p.m. on the night of the event. In-store ticket sales will begin for the next draw once the current drawing is completed. Online ticket purchases for the next draw will start after 10:45 p.m. on the night of the event.
To win the jackpot prize of no less than $20 million, a player’s ticket must match all six winning numbers drawn.
Since the odds are 1 in 302,575,350 to hit the jackpot itself, it is quite difficult to hit the exact numbers. Because of this, the jackpot tends to roll a lot more and grow the prize to record highs in the process.
The jackpot is not the only prize available to win. There are other smaller prize payouts with better odds that you are more likely to hit.
These smaller prizes range from $2 for matching just the mega ball number only, all the way up to the second-tier prize of $1 million for matching five white ball numbers only.
Your overall odds of winning a single prize are 1 in 24.
The following are the prizes and odds:
The cost of one initial ticket is $2. If you would like to add on the Megaplier option, that is an additional dollar. So in total, you can spend as much as $3 per ticket.
If you win any prize at all, especially under $600, you can go to your nearest Lottery retailer and cash out your ticket. You can also have the winnings deposited into your account if you bought the ticket online.
You will have some options for payments with the Michigan Lottery. They will pay the Mega Millions jackpot in one of two ways: an annuity or in a lump sum cash option. Payment is subject to the present cash value of the jackpot.
If you win and decide to select the annuity payments, the jackpot is paid through an annuity that steadily rises over 30 years, with about a five percent raise per payment.
If you decide to select the cash option, you will get paid the current cash value of the jackpot in a lump sum. To some degree, the Lottery moves the money that would have otherwise been invested to fund the 30-year annuity and ends up handing it over to the winner.
Which option you select, the Michigan Lottery will be required by law to withhold the estimated income taxes for federal (about 25 percent) and state (about 4.25 percent) on any prize amount that exceeds $5,000. These amounts are estimates only, so if you win, you are required to satisfy any tax liability for the current year in which the prize was claimed.
If you and another player happen to match six of six numbers (Match five White Balls + Mega Ball) within the exact same drawing, the jackpot will then be shared equally among all of the winning tickets. Whoever selects the cash option would still receive the cash value of their share.
You are in luck because the Michigan Lottery has made this game even easier to play. You simply select one option for purchasing the Mega Millions tickets:
Easy option: You select $6 (three tickets), $10 (five tickets), or $20 (10 tickets), and you will have your numbers randomly selected.
Pick your own: You can select your own tickets by picking five white ball numbers from 1 to 70 and a single gold Mega Ball number from 1 to 25.
Combo the numbers: You can select six to 10 numbers from 1 to 70 and then a single gold Mega Ball number that is 1 to 25 to then have it generate tickets with every combination of the numbers you have selected.
Favorite purchase: Upload your online Cart with a saved set of tickets you have bought.
For just $1.00 more per ticket, you can add on the Megaplier, which would increase your non-jackpot prizes by 2X, 3X, 4X, or 5X.
You can select the number of draws that you want to play, up to 30.
Review your Cart for the final purchase. To have your tickets purchased each week automatically for you, select “Yes” for the Subscribe option. Then, select the “Save as Favorite Purchase,” to then have your tickets added to your Favorite Purchases.
Proceed to checkout to go to payment. If you decide to add more tickets, you can continue shopping.
Once you have your purchase completed, you can check up on your tickets with the “Upcoming Purchased Draws” locates in the My Account section to check your numbers and the drawing times.
If you enjoy playing in-store, then you will still be able to do so. If you enjoy staying at home and avoiding crowds, you can make an account online and buy.
Start by getting a play slip at your favorite Lottery retailer.
Pick your five white ball numbers from 1 to 70 and the single gold Mega Ball number from 1 to 25. Fill out “Easy Pick” to have your numbers randomly selected for you.
For another $1 more, you can add on the Megaplier, which would increase your non-jackpot prize by 2X, 3X, 4X, or 5X should you win.
Select to be able to play up to 30 consecutive drawings with your chosen numbers by marking the number in the multiple draw wagers area.
Tune in for the drawing results on television or look up the results on Michigan Lottery’s website or even select the mobile app to see if your numbers matched any of the numbers that were drawn.
Already bought your ticket? You can pass over the play slip section and ask the retailer for the Replay. A Replay simply reprints all your selections from your existing Mega Millions tickets.
Tickets have to be replayed within a 31-day time period of the original ticket creation. Replay tickets with more than one draw will start with the next available drawing.
As a rule of thumb, you should always check your play slip before turning it over to the Lottery clerk. Tickets cannot be canceled or changed after they are issued, and the sole responsibility for accuracy of your numbers, multi-draw options, and your payment options rests with you.
You will automatically receive winning alerts about any prizes you have won next time you sign in to your Michigan Lottery account. You can also check for drawing results in the Past Draws section in My Account.
If you played the game at an in-store location, you can simply check your ticket by watching the drawing, checking Michigan Lottery online, or scanning the ticket using your phone and the Michigan Lottery app.
It is greatly recommended that you always check your ticket yourself before taking it anywhere and having someone else check it for you.
Megaplier is a Mega Millions game add-on feature that can make for a nice payday. It is optional, and the Megaplier feature costs an extra $1 per play.
It is solely designed to increase the guaranteed prize amount or, in the case of California, pari-mutuel prize amount by the Megaplier factor. However, this does exclude the jackpot prize.
The Mega Millions Megaplier increases the value of any non-jackpot prizes of two, three, four, or five times depending upon the multiplier number that is drawn before the Mega Millions game drawing.
In every drawing, a new Megaplier of 2X, 3X, 4X, or 5X is selected. Megaplier drawings take place behind the scenes.
The drawing is done by means of a random number generator shortly before the normal Mega Millions drawing. In the Megaplier drawing, there are 15 Megaplier balls.
There are five 2x, six 3x, three 4x, and one 5x ball. Whichever Megaplier ball is drawn, commands the number by which all Megaplier player prizes are multiplied in the main Mega Millions drawing.
When filling out your ticket, you select the five white ball numbers you want and then the mega ball number. Next, for an extra dollar to your play, you can add the Megaplier option by simply marking the box on your play slip that says “Yes” next to “Megaplier.”
Players who have the Megaplier feature will have their non-jackpot prize winnings multiplied by the Megaplier number drawn, which could be two, three, four, or five times.
For example, if you have added the Megaplier feature to your ticket and you match five numbers to win Mega Millions second-tier prize worth $1 million, and the Megaplier number drawn is five, your prize would be a big $5 million.
Megaplier prizes range from $4 when you match just the Mega Ball number on a 2x Megaplier. And worth $5 million for matching five main numbers with a 5x Megaplier. However, the equivalent non-Megaplier prize values would be $2 and $1 million, respectively.
The two lotteries, you could say, are like twins. They both have everything under the sun in comparison except for the odds and colors.
Powerball’s game is a selection of five white balls that range from 1 to 69. The red Powerball itself ranges from 1 to 26.
Mega Millions game is a selection of five white balls that range from 1 to 70. The gold mega ball ranges from 1 to 25.
Your odds of winning are slightly different between the two. Mega Millions jackpot odds are 1 in 302.6 million in comparison to Powerball, which is 1 in 292 million. This simply means that you have a greater chance of winning the jackpot for the Powerball Lottery.
Mega Millions also has a multiplier option that ranges two to five times the non-jackpot prize, whereas Powerball’s ranges from two to five and then 10 times the non-jackpot prizes.
You can use the Mega Millions multiplier on the second-highest prize up to $5 million. In Powerball, the second-largest prize stops at $2 million for the multiplier.
Winning prizes from the Powerball is subject to various processes, and depending on how much you won, it can make it a little more challenging. The following are categories that will help you decide what to do should you win a certain amount of money;
Claiming Prizes: Prizes may only be claimed by the registered account holder online. Prizes of $600 or less will be automatically added to your account balance.
Prizes over $600 to $50,000 will be held pending your completion of the online claim process. Prizes over $50,000 must be claimed in person at the Michigan Lottery’s central office in Lansing.
If you win a prize over $50,000, please contact Michigan Lottery Public Relations at (517) 373-1237 for more information or check the Michigan Lottery website. You may only win one prize per wager. All prizes will be truncated into whole dollars.
All prizes must be claimed within one year of the date won, or they will expire to being worthless. The claim process may be changed at any time without notice, so it is important to stay up to date with lottery information.
Cash Payment Option: For certain qualified prizes, you may have the option to select between annual payments or a one-time cash payment at a discounted rate. If your prize qualifies, a formal notice of the cash payment option will be given when you file a claim.
If you decide to choose the cash payment option, you must complete the payment election form within 60 days of your claim. If the election is not made within 60 days of the formal notice, the prize will be paid automatically in annual installments. Your cash payment selection, once elected, is irrevocable and may be exercised by the account holder only, and is only allowed for the entire prize amount.
Income Tax Requirements: Prizes over $5,000 are subject to federal tax withholding for US residents and state income tax withholding at the current rate. Any money that is withheld in compliance with these requirements will be deposited with the federal and state treasuries under your federal identification number.
At the time of claiming a prize over $600, you will be required to complete a claim form. You will receive a tax statement (known as the Form W2-G), which simply identifies the amount of the prize awarded and the tax withheld.
Winner Liability: Before any payment of a prize over $1,000, the state law requires that it has to determine whether or not you have certain unpaid debts and, if so, must apply the prize to payment of that debt. (Check MCL 432.32 for specific details).
Michigan Lottery will provide your name, prizes amount, and other identifying information to the Department of Health and Human Services within seven days after paying a prize of $1,000.00 or more.
If you happen to be struck down with a ridiculous amount of luck as one of the few players who have won a big lottery jackpot from the Michigan Lottery or your residing state, you have the option to choose between a one-time lump sum payment or an annuity payment.
You need to ask yourself how you would like to receive such a large prize. A lottery annuity or cash option?
At first, it may seem like an easy decision to make, but there are some important deciding factors to consider when choosing one option over the other. Should you take the annuity payment or the lump sum? Most jackpot winners are torn between each option because there are major life-changing pros and cons.
The lump sum is a single cash transfer paid all at once in one single payment by the lottery operator to the prize winner. The prize winner has immediate access to the winnings. Usually, the cash option amount is shown as the second payout option. It is slightly more than half of the advertised jackpot amount.
Modern lotteries involve a bit of financial sleight of hand in the way they operate, not to mislead you but just as a way to conduct their business. The lump-sum value is determined precisely equal to the series of payments, usually 29 or 30 annual payments based on a certain interest rate (usually 3 to 4%).
This means that if you were to deposit a lump sum money today into an interest-generating savings account, with an assumed annual bearing interest of about 4% per annum for a period of the 30 years, you would have an amount generally very close to it.
The money would grow to be equal to the advertised jackpot prize. The advertised jackpot value is the amount on the billboards – e.g., “this week’s jackpot is $X million.”
In the Michigan state lottery, the cash value is roughly 58% of the advertised jackpot prize. “You’ve won $xx million” translates to, you will receive that much if you are willing to wait 29 to 30 years to collect it.
What you have actually won is the cash value. This includes the potential interest that the cash value will have to accumulate in about 30 years if you choose to invest the prize with the Lottery.
Lump sums are much more popular options because they allow for flexibility and allow for people to have everything all at once. This is including immediate access to winnings and the opportunity to invest in sub-accounts and other financial tools if handled properly.
As you can see, this is considerably more favorable, assuming you do not blow most of the money quickly. But you would have to invest at least a big chunk of it instead.
Yet, taking this rather large financial payout option can lead to an inordinate amount of spending habits and uninformed and poor investing. Choosing a lump sum also means winners will receive an amount significantly lower than what the initial value was because the highest taxes will also be due in a lump sum. All of these headaches and extra expenses can be avoided by taking an annuity.
As noted above, if the winner chooses the annuity payment option, they are guaranteed to receive a series of 30 progressive payments spread out over a period of 29 years.
These annuity payments will be dished out to the prize winner on an annual installment basis. This amount will increase by five percent with every annual payment until the 30th and final payment. If you added this all up, all 30 payments will equal the value of the advertised jackpot prize.
After the prize winner receives the first initial installment, the lottery commission takes the remaining prize money and invests it into a conservative investment. The preferred investments are low-risk, highest-rated credit quality government bonds.
These investments generate a low interest but yield steady and consistent yearly payouts to the prize winner. This is more than enough to cover the winners promised installments over the next 29 years.
This is a quick rundown of what the annuity is all about. If you walked into a bank today and wanted to invest your money, most likely they would do something very similar to this. Take note if you have won the jackpot and are looking to save money and look forward to the long haul:
Annuities will offer a smarter benefit over the lump sum option. This is especially to those winners who wish to avoid the lottery curse and the potential negatives involved with poor money management.
Benefits those winners who are not willing to risk losing a portion of or all of their prize winnings.
Annuities will also let the winner delay paying taxes on earnings and even smaller amounts spread out.
An annuity offers the winner a guaranteed stable stream of income and allows you to plan accordingly for bills or other expenses.
Upon the death of the prize winner, the annuities are inheritable, even though some people do not know this. The Lottery will thus continue paying the remaining annuities to the winner’s heirs or next of kin.
No matter what option you choose, congratulations on winning your prize! If you decide to choose the lump sum, rather than the extended payout, the math shows that you will get much less money than the advertised jackpot value.
But, that amount is equal to the advertised jackpot prize if you were to invest the cash lump sum at about 4% annual interest over about 30 years or so.
Generally, the lump sum option is slightly more than half of the advertised jackpot value. So it is really up to you how you want to receive your money.
For example, if you won a $120 million jackpot in the multi-state Mega Millions lottery game, you could take $4,615,380 a year for 26 years to total the entire $120 million. However, the lump sum alternative is $70,042,000, equal to about 58 percent of $120.
So you see, you have options based on whatever your personal needs are. Everyone will have a different situation, and if you ever win something that is that large of an amount, more power to you and what you decide that what you want to do with it.