How Are the Mega Millions Numbers Drawn?
Behind all the lights and TV cameras, a tremendous amount of behind-the-scenes work and security goes into ensuring that each Mega Millions draw is random and free from tampering, and that every ticket has an equal chance of winning.
Mega Millions eschews computers for mechanical, gravity pick machines which are still considered to be the most random and tamper-proof lottery draw machines to-date. Officials inspect and calibrate every piece of equipment, including the numbered balls, to ensure that there are no outside influences on the results.
Once the draw has concluded and the latest Mega Millions results are in, ticket holders rush to see if they’ve joined the ranks of the biggest Mega Millions winners! With a jackpot that starts at $40 million, Mega Millions has the power to make dreams come true with each and every draw.
If I should win the jackpot, do I have the option of remaining anonymous as far as the public and the media are concerned?
In most states, lottery winner information is public domain, therefore it is public information.
Publicized information normally includes the jackpot winner’s name, city, county, game in which they won,
date won, and the amount of the prize.
After you win the jackpot, we recommend seeking the professional guidance of a good lawyer and accountant to see if there are ways of maintaining as much privacy as possible— before contacting the lottery and/or claiming the prize, and possibly even before letting friends or family know. You may be tempted to yell to the rooftops in glee about your newfound fortune, but you will probably end up regretting that decision once the excitement of the win calms down, and you are left with a continuous stream of lawsuits and requests for money from those who want a piece of your win.
If I live in a state that taxes prizes, but bought my ticket in a state with no tax on prizes, do I still need to pay state tax?
Yes, you do. Think of lottery prizes as regular earned income from a job. Just because you may work in a different state, that doesn’t permit you to get away with not paying state income tax in your state of residence. The lottery works the same way.
Whether it’s income from a job or income from gambling, the state where the money is won will tax the prize first at their out-of-state tax rate (assuming the state taxes lottery winnings). If your state of residence has the same or lower tax rate, then you won’t owe anything else. But if your state has a higher rate, you will get a credit for what you paid in the other state, and pay the difference to your state.
If the other state has no tax, you just pay the entire tax bill to your state.
The net result is that you end up paying whichever tax rate is higher between your state of residence and the state where you purchased the ticket. Of course, the tax law is quite complex and it’s possible that some condition or arrangement exists between the two states and a good tax attorney and/or accountant could discover a tax-saving loophole. That’s why we always recommend that major prize winners do not make any major decisions before first hiring a good legal and financial team.
One other option to consider, depending on how much in taxes you’re looking to save: the residency requirements as they relate to prize claims, state taxes, and income reporting. Since you aren’t responsible for paying taxes until you claim the prize, perhaps there is time to establish residency in the state where you purchased the ticket before the prize claim period expires. However, that is something you would definitely need to explore with an attorney before taking any action to assess the feasibility. You would also need to decide if it would be worth the risk of that important little piece of paper not getting lost, damaged, or destroyed in the time you spend arranging everything.
Mega Millions Payouts
The US Mega Millions is a champion of the lottery world because the prizes it offers are out of this world! $40 million is only the starting amount for its first prize. Then, every time there is no winner, the Mega Millions jackpot gets even bigger. That is how it has reached the enormous amount of $1.537 billion in October 2018. That is the current record, but the next rollover streak could see it broken!
US$ 22 Million
The Mega Millions does not feature a cap for its jackpot, which means that it can grow indefinitely. But that’s not all you can win when you play Mega Millions! There is a total of 9 prize categories in the game and they are all up for grabs on every single draw. The second prize is worth a full $1 million, so you don’t even have to match all the numbers to become a millionaire in this amazing American lottery!
Why is the cash option different than the advertised jackpot?
The Mega Millions jackpot is an estimated 29-year annuity value, with a total 30 payments (the first payment happens right away, followed by 29 annual payments). When players choose
the annuity option for their prize, the state lottery pays the prize out over 29 years (30 payments) by
buying U.S. Government Treasury Securities, which earn interest and mature annually over
the 29 years. That annual return is the amount the winners receive each year for the
29 year period. With the cash option, the state lottery will take the amount of
money that would have been invested and will pay it directly to the winner in one
payment. Both payment options have federal and applicable state taxes deducted
from them, although with an annuity option you pay taxes gradually on each annual payout, not all at once like with the cash option.
How to Read Mega Millions Results
To find out if you are a winner, you have to read the Mega Millions results correctly. Here is everything you need to know about checking your numbers:
- Check the 5 Mega Millions main numbers in the correct section – those drawn from 1 to 70.
- Check the Mega Ball in the additional number section – the one drawn from 1 to 25.
- Always check the full Mega Millions prize breakdown. Even if you haven’t matched all the 5 main numbers and the Mega Ball, you may still have all the winning combination for one of the secondary prizes.
- The main numbers and the Mega Ball are drawn from different guess ranges and they are not interchangeable. For instance, if the Mega Ball is 10 and you have it on your ticket in the main number section, it will not count as a match.
- Make sure that you are checking the winning numbers for the correct draw. The date on your ticket must correspond to the date of the draw for the win to be valid.
US Mega Millions FAQ
Can non-US citizens play Mega Millions?
Yes, they can. According to the Mega Millions rules, the game is open for both American and non-American citizens over the age of 18. The legal age may vary from one state to another. In some states, the lottery is open to people over the age of 21.
Can I play Mega Millions outside the US?
Yes, you can play the US Mega Millions outside of the US if you play online. theLotter is the leading lottery messenger platform where you can enter the game from anywhere in the world.
If you win Mega Millions online, how much of the prize do you get?
If you win a Mega Millions prize online on theLotter, you get it 100%. theLotter does not charge commissions on the prizes won on their platform, so whatever you win is your entirely.