US$ 252 million
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How to Play Mega Millions Lottery
In order to win the jackpot in the Mega Millions Lottery, a player must correctly guess six numbers in total, five main numbers and one Mega Ball number.
The game consists of two boards of numbers. The first board, from which five main numbers must be chosen, lists all the numbers from 1 to 75. Players must pick five different numbers from this list. The second board of numbers lists all the numbers from 1 to 15. Players must choose only one of these numbers, constituting the Mega Ball number. The five main numbers and the Mega Ball number are chosen independently of each other, thus the Mega Ball number can duplicate one of the numbers chosen in the main five, but can also be a different number.
Pay slips cost one American dollar in the participating states. The twelve US states taking part in the Mega Millions lottery are California, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
Since 2008, Mega Millions ticket buyers must be at least 18 years of age, in all participating states. In most states, minors are allowed to collect prizes on winning tickets given to them as gifts, but some rules vary from state to state.
The Mega Millions draws are held twice a week, every Tuesday and Friday nights, at 11 PM Eastern Time. The draws are usually held at the WSB-TV studio in Atlanta, and were hosted by WSB’s meteorologist Glenn Burns. Recently the hosting position has changed hands and John Crow, the host of the Georgia Lottery drawings, has filled the position with Courtney Cason filling in as needed. When the jackpot grows extremely, over $200 million, the Mega Millions draw is moved to Times Square in New York City, hosted by local announcer, Yolanda Vega.
Players participating in the Mega Millions lottery must choose in which manner they would like to receive the jackpot. The first option is the cash option, in which players receive their portion of the present cash value of the jackpot in a lump sum. The other option is jackpot annuity, where the winner is rewarded his portion of the jackpot in 26 annual installments.
In the states Georgia, New Jersey, New York and Texas, Mega Millions players must make the choice prior to the draw, in which manner they would prefer to receive the prize. Winners from New York and Texas cannot change their mind in regards to this choice following the draw while winners from Georgia and New Jersey can cross from annuity to cash.
Since May of 2002, Mega Millions Lottery jackpots have been declared at $12 million. If there is no jackpot winner at a certain draw, the jackpot is added to the jackpot at the next draw. Apart from the jackpot there are eight additional levels of prize winners, depending on the amount of numbers guessed correctly. The more correct numbers mean a higher prize. The lower level prizes are always a fixed sum.
Winners of Mega Millions prizes have a limited amount of time to claim their prizes; these rules vary between the participating states. In general, winners must claim their prizes within 180 days from the day of the draw. In some of the participating states, winners cannot collect the jackpot in cash if they wait over 60 days from the day of the draw.