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In January , the number matrix was changed to five from 50 and one from 36, combined with the option of a lump-sum payout for jackpot winners.
In May the game was rebranded as Mega Millions and the matrix changed again, in order to generate bigger jackpots by making it harder to win.
Players were now required to match five from 52 plus one from 52 to win the jackpot. The next matrix change occurred in June , which was when California joined the game.
Once again, both pools were changed to lengthen the odds against winning, which meant that players now needed to match five from 56 plus one from 46 to win the jackpot.
The format was altered again in October to help accelerate the build-up of prize money. The number of balls in the main pool increased to 75, while the Mega Ball pool decreased to just 15 numbers.
In October , Mega Millions underwent several more changes in a bid to keep the game fresh. A reduction of the main ball pool to 70, combined with an increase of the Mega Ball pool to 25, left the odds of winning the jackpot longer than the odds of winning Powerball.
However, the changes did shorten the overall odds of winning a prize. Mississippi became the 48th locality in the US to offer Mega Millions. The Megaplier continues to be drawn by Texas Lottery computers, as California does not offer the multiplier.
Montana, offering Powerball before the expansion date, became the 24th lottery to offer the Megaplier, followed by Nebraska the 25th , Oregon the 26th , Arizona as the 27th and Maine as the 28th lottery to offer the Megaplier option.
After Colorado and South Dakota joined Mega Millions, this raised the number of lotteries offering the Megaplier to On March 13, , New Jersey became the first Mega Millions participant just before the cross-sell expansion to produce a jackpot-winning ticket for Powerball after joining that game.
The price increase for playing Powerball was a major factor in Louisiana deciding to pursue joining Mega Millions, as that state's lottery joined Mega Millions on November 16, In the revised format, players chose 5 of 75 white ball numbers, and the "Gold Ball" number out of Payouts in California remained pari-mutuel.
The odds of winning or sharing a Mega Millions jackpot October 19, — October 27, : 1 in about The overall odds of winning a prize were 1 in The annuity—which was 20 annual payments no cash option was available when The Big Game began—changed from 26 equal yearly installments to 30 graduated annual payments increasing 5 percent yearly with the format change on October 19, The "Megaplier" option which again is not offered in California was retained, with an adjustment to its multipliers.
The new prize structure allocates roughly 75 percent of the prize pool for the jackpot; this is, in part, to facilitate the new Just the Jackpot option.
The version allocated about 68 percent towards the jackpot. A player choosing this option is not eligible for any of the eight lower-tier prizes; therefore, the Megaplier option is not available for Just the Jackpot wagers.
Kentucky has since added "Just the Jackpot", with other lotteries potentially adding it. Not known is whether a second series of playslips would be printed for lotteries offering "Just the Jackpot" beginning after the October 28, format change.
Most Just the Jackpot wagers are terminal-generated; however, JtJ wagers in Kansas and Texas allow the player to choose their numbers, while Wisconsin players must ask for a terminal-generated ticket.
This was done to enforce social distancing and discourage crowding of selling venues for large jackpots, and to account for lower interest rates.
The record Mega Millions jackpot was claimed on March 5, , with the winner choosing to remain anonymous under South Carolina law.
Two winning tickets, one each from California and Georgia, were sold. The holder of the California ticket claimed on January 3, The California ticket holder received an equal share, but potentially a larger cash-option amount, as California lottery winnings are exempt from state income tax.
The July 24, drawing produced the fourth-largest jackpot pending the larger one on offer the following October. One ticket from Indiana won the jackpot; the winner chose the cash option.
The holders of each ticket also chose the cash option. Mega Millions players have the option to activate a multiplier , called Megaplier , in 46 of its 47 jurisdictions; it is functionally similar to Powerball's Power Play ; except the latter limits the second-prize multiplier to 2x.
Neither Megaplier nor Power Play are offered in California because its state penal code distinguishes between a "lottery" in which the bank cannot be "broken", and a "banked game" whose bank theoretically could be broken ; only a "lottery" was authorized by the state Lottery Act.
The Megaplier is drawn by the Texas Lottery before the cross-sell expansion on January 31, , it was the only lottery to offer Megaplier , it is drawn by a random number generator RNG.
The odds for each Megaplier possibility are not uniform. Former Mega Millions odds October 19, — October 27, : .
The probability and odds can be taken into a mathematical perspective: The probability of winning the jackpot through October 27, was 1: 75 C 5 x 15 ; that is: 75 ways for the first white ball times 74 ways for the second times 73 for the third times 72 for the fourth times 71 for the last white ball divided by 5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1, or 5!
The overall probability of winning any prize was 1 in If there are no jackpot winners for a specific drawing, the jackpot will keep increasing; however, the odds will still remain the same.
Overall probabilities: 1 in of winning any of the top six prizes,  1 in 40 of winning any prize. In California, prize levels are paid on a parimutuel basis, rather than the fixed lower-tier amounts for winners in other Mega Millions jurisdictions.
California's eight lower-tier Mega Millions prize pools are separate from those shared by the other 45 lotteries.
In Georgia, New Jersey , and Texas , players must choose, in advance, whether they wish to collect a jackpot prize in cash or annuity. Georgia and New Jersey winners can change an annuity ticket to cash should they be eligible to claim a jackpot; however, the choice is binding in Texas.
If a jackpot prize is not claimed within the respective jurisdiction's time limit, each of the 46 Mega Millions members get back the money they contributed to that jackpot.
Each of the 46 lotteries have rules in regards to unclaimed prizes; most Mega Millions members set aside unclaimed winnings for educational purposes.
Mega Millions winners have either days California non-jackpot prizes only or one year to claim prizes, including the jackpot although some Mega Millions winners lose the right to collect a jackpot in cash if they wait more than 60 days after the drawing.
The minimum age to purchase a Mega Millions ticket is 18, except in Arizona , Iowa , Louisiana , and Mississippi, where the minimum is 21; and in Nebraska , where it is Generally an exception is Virginia , minors can win on tickets received as gifts; the rules according to each Mega Millions member vary for minors receiving prizes.
Rules vary according to the applicable laws and regulations in the jurisdiction where the ticket is sold, and the winner's residence e.
On the other hand, some residents of New York City and Yonkers, New York pay three levels of income tax, as these cities levy income taxes.
Since , the drawings have been emceed by the host of the Georgia Lottery drawings, John Crow  , with Atlanta radio personality Carol Blackmon the main substitute host.
Crow usually signs off each drawing with "Play on, America! Before the January 31, cross-sell expansion, Mega Millions was the only multi-jurisdictional lottery whose drawings were carried nationally, instead of airing only on stations in participating jurisdictions.
Central Time newscast. Following the cross-sell expansion, WGN also began airing Powerball drawings nationally. WGN served as a default carrier of both major games where no local television station carried either multi-jurisdictional lottery's drawings.
Two machines are used in each Mega Millions drawing. The balls are moved around by means of counter-rotating arms which randomly mix the balls.
Individually, the five white balls, several seconds apart, drop through a hole in the bottom of the mixing drum. In the aftermath of the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, , the legislature in Albany , fearing a monumental loss of revenue, passed legislation the following month, which was signed by Governor George Pataki , which included joining a multi-jurisdictional lottery game.
Around the same time, for entirely different reasons, Ohio's governor also gave the green light to joining a multi-jurisdictional game.
Both lotteries opted to join The Big Game , which, at the time, was offered in seven states. The added populations of the two new jurisdictions, in turn, led to a larger double matrix.
Except for the cross-selling expansion, this was the only time The Big Game or Mega Millions simultaneously added more than one member.
In , Mega Millions was the target of a mailing scam. A letter bearing the Mega Millions logo was used in a string of lottery scams designed to trick people into providing personal financial information by cashing bogus checks.
The letter, which had been sent to people in several states via standard mail, included a check for what the scammers said was an unclaimed Mega Millions prize.
If the check was cashed, it bounced, but not before the bank stamped it with a routing number and personal account information and sent it back to the fraudulent organization, providing them with the recipients' financial information.
A budget impasse due to the New Jersey Government shutdown led to the temporary closing of its non-essential agencies on July 1, Not only were New Jersey's in-house games such as Pick-6 not drawn for about a week, but all New Jersey lottery terminals were shut down, meaning Mega Millions could not be played in New Jersey, even though Mega Millions was drawn as usual.
A similar shutdown happened in Minnesota on July 1, Elecia Battle made national headlines in January when she claimed that she had lost the winning ticket in the December 30, Mega Millions drawing.
Several days later, when confronted with contradictory evidence, she admitted that she had lied.
The January 4, Mega Millions drawing drew attention for its similarity to " The Numbers ," a sequence of six numbers that served as a plot device of the ABC drama series Lost.
One such usage involved character Hugo "Hurley" Reyes playing the sequence in a similar "Mega Lotto" game, winning a nine-figure jackpot and subsequently experiencing numerous misfortunes in his personal life.
Below you can find more information about the biggest Mega Millions winners, including their names and other interesting facts about the drawings.
The biggest Mega Millions jackpot ever and the second largest in the world was won on October 23rd by a single ticket purchased at KC Mart 7 in Simpsonville, South Carolina.
The drawing on March 30th created not only the largest Mega Millions jackpot ever seen but also the second-largest jackpot in the world.
In the draw, three ticket holders from Maryland, Illinois and Kansas matched all six numbers to share the jackpot. The third winner was from Kansas but, as winners in that state have the option to remain anonymous, they were never formally identified.
The prize was claimed by a group of 11 co-workers from Santa Clara County. A single player from Cambridge City, Indiana won the third-largest Mega Millions jackpot on Friday 8th July after 34 draws without a jackpot winner, the longest run of rollovers the game had ever seen.Ihmchen entschied sich gleichfalls um dessentwillen aslidomino. Dieser enorme Jackpot des Jahres wurde mit einem einzigen Ticket gewonnen, das an einer Tankstelle verkauft wurde. Mehr Vscd über Pfeil nach links. The drawing is at p. The lucky winners later insisted they had no plans to give up work just yet. Juicy Couture tracksuits make star-studded comeback for Levante Real Madrid anniversary. That was the largest prize won in the state. September 28, Montana joining Mega Millions on March 1, was the first jurisdiction to add either game after the cross-sell expansion. January 10, North Carolina. In California, prize levels are paid on a parimutuel basis, rather than the fixed lower-tier amounts for winners in other Mega Millions jurisdictions. September 4, November 9, Following the cross-sell expansion, WGN also began airing Powerball drawings nationally. WSB AM. Chicago Tribune. Opr Poker "Megaplier" option which again is not offered in California was retained, with an adjustment to its multipliers. Players must pick 5 balls from a pool of 70 and 1 Sun Bingo Online Ball from a separate pool of The lucky winners were the Cobie and Seamus Trust from Florida and an anonymous player from Maryland.