Mega Millions is one of the popular American lottery games today that has several jurisdictions in the country and anyone can buy a ticket. The first draw for this lottery, which was first known first as The Big Game, was held in 2002. Currently, the minimum jackpot prize for the Mega Millions draw is advertised to be at $12 million. Lucky lottery winners will be paid 26 times with equal installments yearly. There is also cash option to claim the prize as a lump sum. Generally, the amount of jackpot prize will increase if there are no first prize winners.
The biggest jackpot in this lottery game is advertised at $656 million if annuitized or if cash, around $462 million. This was won during the draw the March 30, 2012. Since the prizes are carried over and certain percentages of the total sales are added to the jackpot, the first prize increased to that amount. Before that, the estimated jackpot was around $363 million in annuity on the 27th of March and thanks to the huge ticket sales, the jackpot rose to the record-breaking amount of $656 million. There were three winners in this draw and they will be sharing the prize pot equally.
How to play in Mega Millions The current system used in this lottery game is the same as the one used in June 2005. In this system, any player can select five differing numbers from one to 56 and these are the white balls. He/she can also use the lottery terminal to pick number for him/her. Then, he/she will pick a number from one to 46 and this is the gold ball called the Mega Ball number. Since there are two different colors of balls, two machines are used to draw numbers and the gold ball can be repeated.
Since Mega Millions draws are held twice a week, the jackpots often roll over quite fast – raising the first prize pot to millions in just a short period of time. This makes it very lucrative for lottery players because the very high payout if they are lucky to win.