US Mega Millions Review
It doesn’t seem to matter where you go online, you trip over US Mega Millions. It’s everywhere – but what is it? It is a US-based lottery that does just what it says, award millions of dollars in prizes through retailers both in stores and online. It’s been around since 1996 and claims to be the biggest in the US – hard to argue with that. US Mega Millions is played every Tuesday and Friday and starts each rotation at US $12 million and simply grows each bi-weekly draw until the jackpot is won.
In the US, Mega Millions is officially played in 46 localities, this means that people in 44 states, the District of Columbia and the US Virgin Islands can benefit from the opportunity. The lottery isn’t officially available in Nevada, Utah, Mississippi and Alabama.
Each individual state vendor has an independent website where more information is available about points of ticket purchase, rules and regulations. All of the local websites are available through the following official Mega Millions page.
How US Mega Millions Works?
This lottery involves simply picking five numbers from between 1 and 75 and a sixth number from 1 to 15. To win the big jackpot at Mega Millions, you have to match all six numbers drawn. If you’re superstitious, people usually use some combination of favorite numbers. Okay – I admit it! I do. Though I chose Quick Pick’s as birthday gifts and a Mother’s Day present.
The odds of having five main plus one additional number correct (thus winning the jackpot) are one in 258,890,850. Needless to say, the odds improve for the lower prize tiers. Getting two plus one correct matches, for example, comes with odds of one in 473. The overall chance of winning any Mega Millions prize is one in 14.7, which is quite good in comparison to what some other big lotteries have to offer.
|Main Mega Millions|
|MEGA Ball Number||Mega Millions Win||Mega Millions Odds||Probability|
|5 White||YES||Jackpot||1 in 258,890,850.00||0.000000003863|
|5 White||NO||1,000,000||1 in 18,492,203.57||0.00000005408|
|4 White||YES||$5,000||1 in 739,688.14||0.000001352|
|4 White||NO||$500||1 in 52,834.87||0.00001893|
|3 White||YES||$50||1 in 10,720.12||0.00009328|
|3 White||NO||$5||1 in 765.72||0.001306|
|2 White||YES||$5||1 in 472.95||0.002114|
|1 White||YES||$2||1 in 56.47||0.01771|
|0 White||YES||$1||1 in 21.39||0.04675|
|Any Prize||Variable||Variable||1 in 14.71||0.0679916|
The guaranteed minimum jackpot is 15 million dollars. If there’s no winner, the amount will roll over to the next drawing.
The Mighty MegaPlier
If these prizes aren’t impressive enough for you, Mega Millions has a special feature to offer. Known as MegaPlier and costing solely an additional dollar, the MegaPlier can increase the standard prize tiers.
MegaPlier increases non-jackpot prizes by anywhere between two and five times. The times five MegaPlier was introduced at the end of 2013. At the same time, a minimum amount for the second prize tier was added and it became a guaranteed one million dollars. Thus, anyone having a second tier prize and a MegaPlier ticket can win anywhere between two and five million dollars. That’s still a nice prize, regardless of the fact that it’s not the mega jackpot.
To use the MegaPlier, the player has to choose one additional number.
Keep in mind that MegaPlier numbers aren’t applicable in all states where Mega Millions tickets can be purchased. The official state websites mentioned above contain more information about its availability.
Where to Play US Mega Millions?
US Mega Millions is offered over the counter in the United States or through a variety of online lottery providers. If you do decide to play US Mega Millions through an online service, make sure you research who you are going to deal with! Their security, their charges and who they actually are can mean the difference between taking money to the bank or their taking money from your bank! Check out our trusted lottery agents.
How do I get my US Mega Millions?
The most important question of all! US Mega Millions pays out two ways, an annuity option which provides for 26 annual payments or a lump sum. According their information, for every $1,000,000 in the jackpot, the winner receives about $38,500 per year. For a lump sum, their site is very clear on the difference for each draw. If the current value of the jackpot is 13 million (annuity win) then the cash option is 9 million (give me the cash). This is before taxes and both state and federal apply (in most cases – check out California) to both nationals and internationals.
Now that the rules are all clarified, let’s look at some more interesting information. You’ve got it right, we’ll explore some of the most impressive Mega Millions jackpots.
The largest Mega Millions jackpot was won in October 2012. The sum was 656 million dollars and there were three winning tickets purchased in Kansas, Illinois and Maryland. The biggest jackpot won by a single ticket was 326 million dollars and it fell in April 2014. The lucky ticket was bought in New York.
With its impressive jackpots and numerous options to become at least a little bit richer, Mega Millions is a favorite lottery of many people across the globe. There are dozens of interesting facts about it and I’ve decided to add a couple of those to the review:
- The very first Mega Millions drawing resulted in a jackpot win. The winning ticket was bought in Chicago and it made its owner 27-million dollars richer.
- From the start of the lottery until the end of 2013, Mega Millions had sold more than 29 billion tickets. With a starting ticket price of one dollar, it’s no wonder that so many people will be willing to test their luck.
- Since October 2013, Mega Millions have sold more than 410 million winning tickets. True, some of those were for rather small sums, but the number is still quite impressive.
- In 2014, there were nine Mega Millions jackpots won. These ranged from 20 to 410 million dollars. In 2015, the number of jackpots was eight and three of those were for sums exceeding 200 million dollars.
Customer Support at US Mega Millions
Customer Complaints at US Mega Millions
I’m not going to even bother checking on this one. I’ve known these folks for years and they are exactly what they offer. US Mega Millions says that about 50% of their sales goes to prizes, 15% to retailers for commissions and running costs and the other 35% of state governments where the tickets are sold.
Now – some of the online retailers that offer US Mega Millions this is not so clear. It’s easy to see why some of these folks use the name to drum up scams. That includes the usual email scams with ‘Congratulations, you’ve won’ getting you to provide personal and account details and/or requesting the tax paid up front. Though these have been doing the rounds for years, I am surprised that people are still buying into them. Then again – winning is winning.
The Bottom Line at US Mega Millions
Mega is the name and money is the game. The lottery starts each rotation at US$ 12 million and then grows – and it grows fast.
Big, MEGA Lottery Win Opportunities
Twice a Week Draw
Beware of Scams with Online Lotteries
Beware of Scams by Email
The bottom line on US Mega Millions is a solid thumbs up! Just make sure if you’re playing online, you check them out first!
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