A withAt least $1.1 billion worth of jackpot grabs, excitement was building as Friday night’s 11pm EDT drawing approached. The grand prize has a cash value of $648.2 million.
The prize pool topped $1 billion this week, marking the third time in the game’s two-decade history that the jackpot has crossed that threshold. The game’s current jackpot is almost as big Registration Amounts Won in 2018 and 2021. During those years, approximately $1.05 billion and $1.5 billion were paid to players whose ticket numbers matched figures drawn by Mega Millions executives.
The current jackpot run began in April. Some drawing on Friday nightDuring the most recent chart on Tuesday.
Nine people won the Mega Millions jackpot, which at the time stood at $830 million, but came up just short because their tickets had the top five winning numbers without the sixth and final Mega Ball count. Another 156 people bought tickets with the correct Mega Ball number, but only four of the top five according to the lottery.
One winner from the first group and three dozen others from the second group bought their tickets with the game’s MegaPillion feature — a bigger prize guaranteed for an additional price per ticket — that boosted their prizes from $1 million to $3 million and from $10,000 to $30,000. After the drawing, Mega Millions reported an “unprecedented” increase in traffic to their website, with people entering the next website for a chance to win. The Lottery said the site crashed on Tuesday night due to an overload of visitors.
“We are optimistic about the growing jackpot,” Pat MacDonald, lead director of the Mega Millions Association and Ohio Lottery director, said in a statement released ahead of Friday’s billion-dollar drawing. “To see the jackpot build up over months and reach a billion dollar value is truly amazing. We encourage customers to keep the balance and enjoy the ride. Someone is going to win.”
Chances of getting a mega million payout this year are slim, and more recently the lottery warned It urged players to be wary of fraudsters trying to collect money by pretending to be official Mega Millions representatives who deliver messages of fake winnings via phone, text or email.
But for people who legitimately hold winning tickets, protection from fraud is one reason some financial advisors recommend they remain anonymous when claiming their winnings. Because lottery entrants are required to publicly disclose their identities upon winning, it is only possible to do so in a few US states. Some states have additional laws that allow lottery winners to claim prizes through legal entities such as trusts that own assets, but most states require Mega Millions ticket winners to disclose their personal information when they sign the check.
Players who win the Mega Millions jackpot can decide whether to collect the money in installments or all at once, with possible choices regarding anonymity when receiving awards. Lottery entrants who choose the payout will receive that amount in annual payments over about 30 years, so the majority choose the immediate cash option instead.
The decision may depend on a number of individual factors, including each winner’s age, current financial situation and, if necessary, how the beneficiaries can collect their money. A significant portion of winnings go toward federal taxes, but individual state laws regarding lottery prizes and how they are taxed can make one-of-a-kind financial awards appear more favorable.