The Mega Millions lottery is America's biggest jackpot game with and has jackpots that start at an amazing $12 million as well as other prizes ranging from $2 up to $250,000. The lottery game, that has the record for the largest individual jackpot in North America, was launched in 1996. Back then, it was known as the Big Game and the first ever draw was held on September 6th 1996 with six states participating.
Subsequently the game went from a weekly Friday draw to a bi-weekly draw that now includes Tuesdays. As the game grew in size, more states joined up for the lottery and by 2005, the Mega Millions lottery was available in 12 different states in the US. As the jackpots grew in size, players were given a larger choice of numbers as well as a cash payout option. The popularity of this lottery game reach an all time high on 6th March 2007, when one lucky player won a jackpot of $390 million, the highest ever in North American history.
Mega Millions created history on January 31, 2010 when 23 state lotteries joined Mega Millions in a cross selling agreement with Powerball. As of today, you can buy lottery tickets for twice weekly draw, on Tuesdays and Fridays, in a total of 39 US states.
Playing the Mega Millions lotto is every simple; for the price of a ticket which is as low as $1, you could win millions. To play the Mega Millions game, you need to pick six numbers from two separate pools of numbers. The first pool contains numbers from 1 to 56 from which you select five and the second has Mega numbers from 1 to 46 and you need to pick one. You win the jackpot when you match all six numbers.
In addition to the Mega Millions jackpot prize there are eight other ways to win prizes with the lottery. The second prize is won when a player can match five numbers from the normal pool and is worth a massive $250,000. The third prize of $10,000 is won when four normal numbers and 1 Mega number are matched while the smallest prize is worth $2 when one Mega number is matched.
Some states provide the Megaplier option where you can increase your non-jackpot prize winnings by double, triple or even four times. To opt for this feature, players pay an extra $1 when they purchase their lottery ticket.
Mega Millions provides the winners two options to collect the jackpot money. The first is the Annuity option which will give players the jackpot money in 26 annual payments. So for every $1,000,000 won players will receive approximately $38,500 every year before tax deduction. The Cash Option is a one time lump-sum payment that is equal to all the cash in the Mega Millions prize pool.
Buy tickets for the Mega Millions lottery here.