Bigger Bang for Your Bucks for Mega Millions Players
Multi-state lottery Mega Millions has changed their game, increasing their prizes without changing the cost to play. It is played in 43 states, the District of Columbia and the US Virgin Islands plus internationally online. Its largest jackpot of $656 million was won March 2012 by three players in Kansas, Illinois and Maryland. This is a game played twice a week, Tuesdays and Fridays. As of the 22nd of October, Mega Millions’ new rules and bigger prizes apply.
More Money at Mega Millions
Mega Millions’ jackpot increased to a minimum start amount of $15 million with a minimum rollover of $5 million each time it is not won. This is a lottery that grows rapidly.
The second tier prize involves picking the correct 5 white balls and starting with the draw October 22nd, increased to $1,000,000. Though the top tier prizes have increased, tiers 3 through 9 have actually decreased. Enter the Megaplier!
Mega Millions Megaplier
Previously, Mega Million’s Megaplier multiplied wins excluding the jackpot up to four times the face value of the prize level. They have added a 5 times the face value chance to win. For an additional charge, a number between 2 and 5 is chosen each draw. This is the number of times that the tier prizes from 2 to 9 are increased. Under the new rules, if you’ve won the second tier prize of $1 million and the Megaplier number is 3, then you’ve actually won $3 million. This option is not available in all states.
Game Changes at Mega Millions
Mega Millions players choose their five favorite numbers represented by white balls and one number represented as the Mega Ball. They also have the option to randomly select their numbers through ‘Easy Pick’. Under the new rules, the game has changed from 56 balls to 75 white balls at the same time the Mega balls decrease from 46 balls to 15 balls. What’s that mean? The overall odds of winning something are now 1 in 14 versus the previous 1 in 39. The lowest tier prize to win requires a player to match 0 white balls and only the Mega Ball.
Mega Millions Winnings
The big jackpot is paid out as an annuity. The new rules change the payout from 26 years to 30 years. There is still a lump sum cash payout option depending on which state you play for a reduced amount calculated against the value of the jackpot over 30 years. This amount is published on the Mega Millions home site [megamillions.com]. Withholding taxes apply in all cases including both state and federal. International players pay a slightly higher federal tax then US residents. Different states have different rules on the thresholds for withholding tax though there is no tax paid on prizes under $600. All other tiered prizes are paid out at a fixed amount.
Except in California
California is the only state where all prizes are shared ‘pari-mutuel’ which means prizes are based on sales and the number of winners. The prizes on all tiers are adjusted against this.
Get Your Bang with Mega Millions
Lottery tickets for the new Mega Millions went on sale October 19th with the first draw for the new format held on Tuesday, October 22nd. The opportunity to win even higher jackpots attracted a lot of players.