Mega Millions Jackpot Climbs to $1.55 Billion Ahead of Tuesday Drawing
After Friday night’s drawing, the Mega Millions jackpot climbed to $1.55 billion, or about $757.2 million upfront. The winner can choose to take an annuity payment over 30 years or a lump sum.
If they do the latter, they’ll have to pay federal and state taxes. But there are a few ways they can reduce their tax bill.
Odds of winning
The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are one in 302,575,350, but that doesn’t mean you won’t win anything. You can also win smaller prizes, including $1 million for matching five white numbers and the gold Mega Ball. You can even get a free ticket just by playing the game. However, you should be aware that a large slice of any winnings will go toward federal taxes and many states tax lottery payouts as well.
Winning the jackpot is incredibly unlikely, but it’s possible to increase your chances by buying more tickets. It’s worth pointing out, though, that you are more likely to be struck by lightning or killed by a shark than to win the Mega Millions jackpot. Regardless of how you play, the odds are still one in 300 million.
Taxes on winnings
The Mega Millions jackpot is the fifth-largest in the history of the game and the sixth largest lottery prize in US history. If you win, you can choose a lump sum payout or an annuity that will pay out in 30 annual payments. The amount you receive will depend on whether you live in a state that taxes lottery winnings, as well as federal tax rules.
The first step in determining how much you will receive is figuring out what your federal tax liability will be. The federal government will withhold 25 percent of your winnings, and you may also have to pay state taxes.
You may be able to reduce your tax burden by choosing to claim the lump sum payment or living in one of the nine states that do not levy state lottery winnings. However, you should always work with a financial planner to maximize your investment opportunities and ensure that your newfound wealth does not run out!
The Mega Millions jackpot has reached a record-setting $1.55 billion, and the winning ticket could be worth up to $757.2 million upfront. The next drawing is Tuesday night and the prize has been climbing for months as no one has matched all six numbers.
A winner would get their choice of an annual annuity paid over 30 years or a lump sum of about $757.2 million. The annuity payout is subject to federal taxes, and many states also tax lottery winnings.
Last Friday’s drawing produced no jackpot winners, but seven tickets sold across seven states matched five numbers without the Megaplier option. The two winning tickets in Michigan and Tennessee won $2 million apiece because they included the optional Megaplier feature, which costs an extra $1 at time of purchase. There were also Match 5 winners in Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Oklahoma and Texas. The jackpot has risen steadily since April 18. If no one wins on Tuesday, the prize will rise even higher.
Buying a ticket
A Mega Millions ticket costs $2 per play. You can choose your own numbers or opt for the Quick Pick feature and have them picked randomly. You can also add the Megaplier for an additional $1, which multiplies non-jackpot prizes by two, three, four or five. Buying tickets is legal in most states, except Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada and Utah, but you can purchase them online from most lottery retailers.
The current jackpot is the fourth largest in the game’s history and is one of the top five in U.S. lottery history. The biggest payout ever came in October 2018 when a single winner claimed a prize of $1.537 billion.
The next drawing is Tuesday, when the odds of winning are 1-in-302.6 million. A sole winner will be able to choose an annuity payment over 30 years or a lump sum of $757.2 million upfront. New York Lottery tickets can be purchased through the official website or at lottery retailers across the state. Proceeds from these purchases are earmarked for education.