Looking for ways to recover some funds from the 4th of July holiday weekend? The Mega Millions Lottery jackpot has increased to $449 million after no winners were reported in Friday’s drawing — bringing the jackpot to the third highest on record for the multi-state game.
According to Newsday, a Lottery spokesperson stated that no issued tickets matched all six of the winning numbers. Now, the $415 million that could have been won will roll into the pot for the next big drawing on Tuesday.
Although no tickets took home the ultimate jackpot, there were still winners. The Lottery’s official site claims there were four Match 5 winning tickets in Friday’s drawing. Two of the tickets, worth $1 million each, were sold in Massachusetts and New York. Two others offered $2 million in winnings — sold in Oklahoma and Pennsylvania — when the optional 2x Megaplier was drawn. Overall, Friday’s drawings provided prizes at all levels for more than 5.6 million winning tickets.
The Mega Millions jackpot has only been won twice this year, causing the prize to grow as it keeps rolling. While her winning was only recently announced by the New York Lottery, Nancy Viola, was the recipient of the January 8 jackpot of $169 million and Michael Burkett of Washington took in $157 million from the March 8 jackpot.
If you are hoping to get in on the $449 million jackpot, you may be wondering just how do you play. Well, it starts with a $1 investment in a Mega Millions ticket — some states also offer Megapliers to multiply your winnings. Catching up with changes in technology and the popularity of playing to win, some states, including Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, and Michigan, allow their residents to buy Mega Millions tickets online after registering with the state lottery office. A few others offer online subscriptions — New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, and Virginia.
To play, you pick six numbers from two pools of numbers — five differing numbers from 1 to 75 and one number from 1 to 15. If you are not sure which numbers to pick, you can try the Easy Pick option. After your numbers are selected, you simply wait for the next drawing. Jackpots start at $15 million and increase by at least $5 million per draw each time it rolls.
Players win the big jackpot when they match all six winning numbers drawn. Winners then choose from a cash payout or an annuity option. Whichever a winner chooses, do not forget Uncle Sam needs his portion.
If the winner chooses the cash option, they are given a one-time, lump-sum payment equal to the cash amount in the Mega Millions jackpot prize pool. With the annuity option, the Mega Millions jackpot is paid in one immediate payment and 29 subsequent annual payments. Because of inflation, each payment is increased by 5 percent.
The biggest wins for a Mega Millions jackpot stands at $656 million, when the jackpot was split between three tickets in March of 2012. Not far behind, in December of 2013, two winners got half the shares of a $648 million jackpot.
Friday’s Mega Millions winning numbers were 20-41-42-45-49 and the Mega Ball was 14. The odds for selecting all of the right numbers for a Mega Millions drawing: one in 259 million.
Mega Millions is available to play in 44 US states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Drawings are held Tuesdays and Fridays at 11 p.m. Eastern Time.
While the cash option for the $449 million jackpot drawing is $313 million, it is sure to still be a victory for just about anyone.
[Photo by AP Images/Alan Diaz]