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How Can Players Bet on the Mega Millions Lottery?

The Mega Millions lottery is one of America’s major draws with its massive jackpots. To bet on this lottery, players simply have to choose five main numbers from 1 to 70 and one Mega Ball number from 1 to 25 to enter the drawings. Draws are held every Tuesday and Friday at 23.00 EST. All Mega Millions prizes, apart from the jackpot, have a fixed value; the only exception is in California, where non-jackpot Mega Millions prizes are pari-mutuel.

The minimum Mega Millions jackpot is $40 million and there is no maximum limit for the jackpot. There is the possibility that the jackpot rolls over, which means that it increases because it is not won by any of the players. Whenever this happens, the top Mega Millions prize will increase by a minimum of $5 million for the next drawing.

Mega Millions prizes can reach great amounts. In fact, the largest Mega Millions jackpot was an astounding $1.537 billion, which was won in October 2018. Other massive jackpots date back to March 2012 and December 2013, where three ticket holders shared a staggering prize of $656 million, and another two ticket holders shared the sum of $648 million respectively.

Just the Jackpot

In October 2017, the game ‘Just the Jackpot’ was introduced, giving players two chances at winning the Mega Millions jackpot prize for the price of $3. Players who choose the Just the Jackpot wager will only be eligible to win the jackpot prize, so they are only eligible for one of the nine tiers. Players cannot claim prizes in any of the other eight prize tiers, which range from $2 to $1 million.
To enter Just the Jackpot, players can simply pick up a play slip from an authorized retailer and select their preferred numbers. In certain states, such as Wisconsin, players’ numbers will be generated by the terminal.
For more information, players can ask their local lottery retailer or they can also contact their nearest lottery office.

Получение призов

У победителей Мега Миллионов есть либо 180 дней (в Калифорнии это распространяется только на все призы кроме джекпота), либо год, чтобы забрать свой выигрыш (хотя некоторые победители Мега Миллионов теряют своё право забрать джекпот наличными, если они не сообщают о своем желании в течение 60 дней).

Возрастной ценз на продажу билетов — 18 лет, за исключением Аризоны, Айовы и Луизианы, где минимальный возраст игроков — 21 год, и Небраски (19 лет). В целом (за исключением Вирджинии), игроки ниже возрастного ценза имеют право участвовать в лотерее, если получают билет в подарок, однако правила получения призов для этих игроков отличаются в зависимости от штата.

Правила различаются в зависимости от законодательства той юрисдикции, где был куплен билет, а также места проживания победителя. Выигрыш в лотерею Мега Миллионы не облагается подоходным налогом в штате Калифорния и Пенсильвания, в то же время в штатах Нью Хэмпшир, Техас и Вашингтон вообще нет подоходного налога. С другой стороны, некоторые жители городов Нью Йорк, штат Буффало и Йонкерс, штат Нью Йорк, платят 3 вида налога на их выигрыш.

The state lotteries and MUSL (the organization that runs Powerball) are all very firm in their assertion that playing the lottery in any manner over the Internet is illegal.  We are not lawyers and can’t provide legal advice, but we are not so sure about their position.  Their absolute certainty that it is illegal may have more to do with not wanting to lose control of the player interaction, and less to do with a firm legal footing.

When we assess the legality, we look at what has actually happened in court cases.  There have been people in the past who purchased a lottery ticket from an Internet Web site, subsequently won the jackpot, and the lottery attempted to block them from receiving the jackpot.  In each case, the winners took the lottery to court and won.  They received their jackpot as if they walked into a store and purchased a ticket.

You must keep in mind that any type of Internet-based lottery service is not risk-free.  From a legal standpoint, the services are dealing in loopholes in the current law, and the US Congress has taken steps to make those loopholes tighter, particularly in trying to prevent banks and credit cards from allowing Internet payments for lottery services.  But there is a much bigger threat when you use an Internet lottery service: getting ripped off.

By not making a purchase in a store, you may be doing something worse than throwing your money away: you may be helping to keep a scam operation running.  Stay away from anything referring to a «syndicate».  We are not aware of any site using that terminology that is not a scam.  Also beware of sites that state «Insured by ___» at the bottom.  It is like saying «We don’t really buy lottery tickets, but trust us, you’ll get paid if you win.»  Have you ever heard of an insurance company paying out a $200 million Powerball jackpot?  We haven’t.

We do allow some advertising on USA Mega for lottery services.  We recommend that USA residents stay away from such services, and make your purchases in a store.  The ads are directed at non-USA residents, who may not have the online lottery restrictions that exist in the USA.

Megaplier Prizes

In all of the participating states except California, players can enjoy a supplementary game called Megaplier. This game is offered for just an additional $1 per line, and it can help boost the value of any non-jackpot Mega Millions prizes that are won. The Megaplier offers players the chance to receive a payout with a maximum of $5 million, without winning the jackpot. The prize chart below shows the various prizes that can be won with Megaplier, the payouts and the odds of a certain Megaplier number being drawn:

Match Base Prize 2x (1 in 3) 3x (1 in 2.5) 4x (1 in 5) 5x (1 in 15)
5 Numbers $1 million $2 million $3 million $4 million $5 million
4 Numbers + Mega Ball $10,000 $20,000 $30,000 $40,000 $50,000
4 Numbers $500 $1,000 $1,500 $2,000 $2,500
3 Numbers + Mega Ball $100 $200 $300 $400 $500
3 Numbers $10 $20 $30 $40 $50
2 Numbers + Mega Ball $10 $20 $30 $40 $50
1 Number + Mega Ball $4 $8 $12 $16 $20
Mega Ball Only $2 $4 $6 $8 $10
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