US Mega Millions Review
Regardless of the country that you live in, you’ve probably heard about one of the biggest lotteries in the US, and you’ve probably wondered whether it’s possible to play Mega Millions online. For years, Mega Millions and its rival Powerball have been competing to be the lotteries producing the biggest jackpots on the face of the planet. In 2012, Mega Millions became the winner with a spectacular top sum of 656 million dollars. In 2016, however, Powerball changed the game rules by awarding a jackpot of 1.58 billion dollars! This is not the end of the story. On October 23, 2018, the biggest Mega Millions jackpot of $1.537 billion was won by a single ticket sold in South Carolina.
To beat its rival, Mega Millions introduced a thorough rule change in 2017. The change aimed to bring the jackpot up and to even out the playing field.
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 state vendor has an independent website with more information about sales, rules, and regulations. All of the local websites are listed on the following official Mega Millions page. If you’re an international player, you shouldn’t worry either. There are excellent options that allow you to buy Mega Millions tickets online. Some of these Mega Millions online opportunities, the game rules, and additional details will be discussed in the following US Mega Millions review.
How Does US Mega Millions Work?
Before October 2017, Mega Millions involved picking five numbers from 1 and 75 and a sixth supplementary number from 1 to 15. To win the big jackpot at Mega Millions, players had to match all six numbers drawn.
The new rules state that players have to choose their 5 main Mega Millions numbers from a pool from 1 to 70 and a Megaball in the range from 1 to 25.
Before the changes, the odds of winning the jackpot were 1 in 258,890,850. As of October, you have 1 chance in 302,575,350 to become a millionaire. While the new odds may seem unfair, they’ve come to justify an increase in the minimum jackpot.
|Numbers Matched||Megaball||Mega Millions Prize||Mega Millions Odds|
|5||YES||Jackpot||1 in 302,575,350|
|5||NO||1,000,000||1 in 12,607,306|
|4||YES||$10,000||1 in 931,001|
|4||NO||$500||1 in 38,792|
|3||YES||$200||1 in 14,547|
|3||NO||$10||1 in 606|
|2||YES||$10||1 in 693|
|1||YES||$4||1 in 89|
|0||YES||$2||1 in 37|
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 an additional dollar solely, the MegaPlier can increase the standard prize tiers.
MegaPlier increases non-jackpot prizes anywhere between two and five times. The times five MegaPlier was introduced at the end of 2013.
The 2017 changes have some effect on MegaPlier, as well. The odds have changed somewhat. The 2x MegaPlier odds, for example, used to be 1 in 7.5 while the new odds are 1 in 3. This is a positive change, but when it comes to the top MegaPlier, it has become a bit more difficult to win. The x5 MegaPlier used to come with odds of 1 in 2.5, and the current odds are 1 in 15.
When the maximum MegaPlier is chosen, a player can add up to 5 million dollars to their second-tier prize. The smallest MegaPlier will add 2 million dollars to the second Mega Millions prize tier. The lowest prize tier increases by 4 dollars when a MegaPlier of x2 is chosen and 10 dollars for a MegaPlier x5.
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. Since the changes of 2017, California has also been included among the states that no longer offer the Mega Millions multiplier.
Tips for the Best Mega Millions Online Opportunity Selection
US Mega Millions is probably one of the most prominent lotteries globally, which is why multiple scammers and fraud schemes utilize its name. When you want to play Mega Millions online, you have to be careful about the specifics.
Always go through the website’s terms and conditions before you buy Mega Millions online tickets. Also, look for a security certificate and an array of payment options. If you feel concerned about any aspect of the interaction, contact the customer support team. They should be capable of answering your questions.
Don’t fall for Mega Millions online schemes that are administered either by email or social networks. Remember that legitimate lotteries and online lottery ticket platforms do not approach their clients. If something appears too good to be true, it probably is.
How Do I Get My US Mega Millions?
The most important question of all! US Mega Millions pays out in two ways – an annuity option that consists of 26 annual payments or a lump sum. According to official information, for every $1,000,000 worth of jackpot, the winner receives about $38,500 per year. There will be a smaller withhold sum for a lump-sum payment because of the interest accumulated over the years. If the jackpot’s current value 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.
The rule changes that we examined earlier have had an impact on the Mega Millions jackpot, as well as on the lower prize tiers.
Before the introduction of the new rules, the minimum guaranteed jackpot was 15 million dollars. The new one is 40 million dollars – a pretty impressive change. People who win the second prize tier will still pocket 1 million dollars. The third prize tier has been increased from 5,000 to 10,000 dollars. As you can see, the Mega Millions organizers are fair people. While they have made it more difficult to win, the bigger prizes will definitely justify the efforts.
Cool Mega Millions Facts
With its impressive jackpots and numerous options to make someone at least a little bit richer, Mega Millions is a favorite lottery for many people worldwide. There are dozens of interesting facts about it, and I’ve decided to add a couple of those to the review:
1). 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.
2). From the lottery launch 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.
3). Since October 2013, Mega Millions has sold more than 410 million winning tickets. True, some of those were for rather small sums, but the number is still quite impressive.
4). In 2014, there were nine Mega Millions jackpots won. These ranged from 20 to 410 million dollars. In 2015, the number of jackpots won was eight, and three of those were for sums exceeding 200 million dollars.
Customer Support at US Mega Millions
Customer Complaints about US Mega Millions
I’m not going even to 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 go 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 upfront. 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 drawing with a minimum guaranteed jackpot of 40 million dollars that grows whenever there’s no winner.
Big, MEGA Lottery Win Opportunities
Twice a Week Draw
International Players Can Participate through the Purchase of US Mega Millions Tickets Online
Well Regulated and Organized by a National Entity
There’s a MegaPlier Option that Can Increase Non-jackpot Prizes
2017 Rule Changes Have Increased the Minimum Guaranteed Jackpot and Some of the Other Prize Tiers
If There’s No Winner for the Respective Drawing, the Jackpot Will Roll Over towards the Next One
Both Lump Sum and Annuity Jackpot Payment Options Are Available
Beware of Scams with Online Lotteries
Beware of Scams by Email
The Odds of Winning the Jackpot Aren’t the Best Ones Out There
The New Rules Have Made It Even More Difficult for Players to Claim the Jackpot
Lottery Prizes in the US Are Subjected to Both Federal And State Taxes
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!