Mega Millions Jackpot $140 Million For May 12: Odds For Picking Winning Numbers Are Slim

The Mega Millions jackpot is now a whopping $140 million for Tuesday night’s drawing, with no grand prize winner in the last 13 drawings. What are the odds that you will pick the winning numbers for the May 11 drawing? Don’t count on quitting your job just yet, but if you have $1 to spare, your return on investment could make you an instant multi-millionaire.

The odds of winning Tuesday night’s Mega Millions jackpot is 1 in 259 million. To put it all in perspective, you have a 1 in 700,000 chance of getting crushed by a falling asteroid. If you play your numbers and then take a dip in the ocean, the odds of getting attacked by a shark is 1 in 12 million. Even worse? Your odds of being audited by the IRS are approximately 1 in 175.

If you beat the odds, the IRS will be the first to congratulate you on your big win. According to USA Mega, 25 percent of your winnings will withheld for federal tax.

For winners who choose the lump sum payment option for the Mega Millions jackpot, the one-time payout of Tuesday night’s $140 million jackpot (cash value of $87 million) would be $65.4 million after federal taxes are taken out.

State taxes will also be taken out of your winfall — the percentage varies by state. However, if you live in California, Delaware, Florida, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, or Wyoming, there is no state tax on lottery prizes.

Mega Millions jackpot winners also have the option of choosing an annuity paid out over 30 years. The first payment issued to the winner shortly after the winning ticket is validated, and the remaining 29 payments are paid out once a year. After federal taxes, and before state taxes are taken out, the first annuity payment would be approximately $3.5 million, with an increase of five percent per year for the next 29 years.

If you haven’t check your most recent Mega Millions tickets, here are the numbers from the last five drawings. There are a number of non-jackpot prizes ranging from $1 (just the Mega Ball) to $1 million (five numbers, no Mega Ball) — re-check your tickets in case you have a winner.

  • May 9: 9, 21, 25, 66, 72, MB 7
  • May 5: 11, 21, 42, 62, 71 MB 7
  • May 1: 1, 7, 18, 61, 66, 74 MB 3
  • April 28: 22, 27, 55, 58, 63 MB 11
  • April 24: 24, 25, 29, 47, 67, MB 4

The Mega Millions drawings take place at 11 p.m. ET every Tuesday and Friday. Watch the drawing live online at 11 p.m. ET using the free LotteryHUB app for the iPhone or Android phones. Tickets cost $1 each, and can be purchased at lottery retailers in 44 states, plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

[Image: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News]