The Mega Millions jackpot has soared to nearly $1 billion. Here's what you need to know

Winning numbers for that Almost $1 Billion Mega Millions The lottery prize is drawn on Friday night, bringing sudden wealth to any lucky person who matches them and disappointment to everyone else.

The Mega Millions jackpot is valued at $977 million after three months have passed without a winner. That big prize represents incredibly long odds of winning the jackpot, and the longer the stretch without a winner, the bigger the prize.

The jackpot is ranked 10th largest in US lottery history – Half the size of the $2.04 billion Powerball prize won in November 2022.

How do I play?

Players can purchase a ticket for $2 and select six numbers from separate pools. Five selections are from one pool with different numbers from 1 to 70 and the other is for Mega Ball with numbers from 1 to 25. Some states give players the option to pay more for different payment options or give people extra numbers.

People can pick their own numbers — and some play the same numbers every time — but most players choose the quick pick option, which lets the computer generate random numbers.

Mega Millions charts twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays at 11pm EDT, broadcast from a television studio in Atlanta. The numbers will also be posted quickly on the game's website.

How much will I win?

A lot, but probably a lot less than you think.

Originally, the advertised jackpot of $977 million was for a single winner. Paid by annuity, with an initial payment and annual checks for 29 years. Almost all winners actually want cash, with Friday night's drawing estimated at $461 million — less than half the number splashed on billboards and neon ads on convenience stores.

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Before cashing out, lottery officials deduct 24% for federal taxes. The Final tax bill Because some winnings are subject to the top federal tax bracket of 37%, the bottom line could be higher. State taxes may also be assessed depending on where a player purchased the winning ticket.

As in 2016 – there is also a chance that more than one person will buy the winning ticket. Three winning tickets For the $1.6 billion lottery jackpot. Whatever the jackpot amount is, it can be broken down into smaller prizes.

So what are the odds?

Focusing on the amount of the jackpot prize misses the bigger point – you almost certainly won't win.

The Chances of winning The Mega Millions jackpot is 1 in 302.6 million, and it's low odds allow the game to trundle for months without a winner. If the odds are good, people win jackpots more often, so the top prizes don't grow too big – and entice more people to play. In fact, Mega Millions stretched its odds in 2019 to produce huge jackpots.

Currently, there is no jackpot winner from December 8, 2023. 29 consecutive drawings without anyone matching all the numbers.

Lottery officials indicate there were millions of winning tickets during that span, with prizes ranging from $2 to $1 million. The main thing is to play for fun and get a chance to dream a little, but not with the expectation of getting rich.

Of course, someone will win the jackpot eventually.

Who runs these games?

Mega Millions and Powerball, the other major lottery game, are run separately, but both are overseen by state lotteries. Mega Millions is played in 45 states as well as Washington, DC and the US Virgin Islands. Powerball also operates in 45 states and Washington, DC, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

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Games will not be played in Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada or Utah.

Both games raise money for the jurisdictions in which they operate, along with profits from other lottery games such as scratch cards. Some states transfer the money to their general funds, while others use it for specific purposes, such as college scholarships or state parks.

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