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The expansion occurred on January 31, , as 23 Powerball members began selling Mega Millions tickets for their first drawing on February 2, ; likewise, 10 Mega Millions members began selling Powerball tickets for their first drawing the next day.
Montana joining Mega Millions on March 1, was the first jurisdiction to add either game after the cross-sell expansion.
Puerto Rico, whose lottery began in the s, currently does not offer Mega Millions. Mississippi began selling lottery tickets in ; it joined Mega Millions on January 30, Before the agreement, the only stores which sold Mega Millions and Powerball tickets were retailers whose business was on a border between jurisdictions which sold competing games.
The current Mega Millions format began in October The Megaplier is not available in California, or on Just the Jackpot wagers where offered.
Alabama , Alaska , Hawaii , Nevada , and Utah do not sell lottery tickets. In , Wyoming became the 44th state to establish a lottery; the next year, it began, initially offering both Mega Millions and Powerball.
In August , a bill establishing a lottery in Mississippi was passed, and sent to its Governor for his signature; its lottery began November 25, , with Mississippi joining Mega Millions on January 30, Kyle of the Virginia Lottery.
The Big Game initially was drawn weekly, on Friday. The Georgia Lottery was a member of MUSL at the time and wanted to sell both games for the remainder of ; however, within a few days, Georgia was forcibly removed from MUSL, returning with the cross-selling expansion.
Beginning in January , jackpot winners were given the option to receive their prize in cash. The Mega Millions trademark is owned by the Illinois Lottery.
The first three lotteries to join Mega Millions were Washington in September , Texas in , and California in ; California was the last addition to Mega Millions before the cross-sell expansion of Montana joined Mega Millions on March 1, , the first addition to Mega Millions after the cross-sell expansion.
When Texas joined Mega Millions in , it began offering an option, initially available only to Texas Lottery players, known as the Megaplier , which was similar to Powerball's Power Play.
The 11 Mega Millions lotteries without Megaplier on the January 31, cross-selling date gradually added the multiplier option; by January , all Mega Millions lotteries, except for California, offered the Megaplier.
The Texas Lottery owns the trademark to Megaplier. On June 24, , to commemorate California joining Mega Millions, that night's drawing was held in Hollywood , with Carrie Underwood assisting host Glenn Burns for the draw.
The jackpot was shared by two tickets, both matching the numbers of and Mega Ball The New Jersey Lottery, among others, in early announced it would seek permission to sell Powerball tickets alongside Mega Millions.
On the same day, 10 existing Mega Millions-participating lotteries began selling Powerball tickets. Ohio joined Powerball on April 16, Nebraska became the 37th Mega Millions participating member on March 20, , followed by Oregon as the 38th member on March 28, Arizona as the 39th member on April 18, and Maine as 40th Mega Millions participant on May 9, Colorado and South Dakota added Mega Millions on May 16, , bringing the total to 42 jurisdictions.
Recent additions to Mega Millions included the U. Virgin Islands , in October , and Louisiana in November Florida joined Mega Millions on May 15, ; the first drawing to include Florida-bought tickets was two days later.
Presumably due to their experience with the Power Play option for Powerball, all 23 lotteries joining Mega Millions on January 31, immediately offered Megaplier to their players.
The Megaplier continues to be drawn by Texas Lottery computers, as California does not offer the multiplier. Montana, offering Powerball before the expansion date, became the 24th lottery to offer the Megaplier, followed by Nebraska the 25th , Oregon the 26th , Arizona as the 27th and Maine as the 28th lottery to offer the Megaplier option.
After Colorado and South Dakota joined Mega Millions, this raised the number of lotteries offering the Megaplier to On March 13, , New Jersey became the first Mega Millions participant just before the cross-sell expansion to produce a jackpot-winning ticket for Powerball after joining that game.
The price increase for playing Powerball was a major factor in Louisiana deciding to pursue joining Mega Millions, as that state's lottery joined Mega Millions on November 16, In the revised format, players chose 5 of 75 white ball numbers, and the "Gold Ball" number out of Payouts in California remained pari-mutuel.
The odds of winning or sharing a Mega Millions jackpot October 19, — October 27, : 1 in about The overall odds of winning a prize were 1 in The annuity—which was 20 annual payments no cash option was available when The Big Game began—changed from 26 equal yearly installments to 30 graduated annual payments increasing 5 percent yearly with the format change on October 19, The "Megaplier" option which again is not offered in California was retained, with an adjustment to its multipliers.
The new prize structure allocates roughly 75 percent of the prize pool for the jackpot; this is, in part, to facilitate the new Just the Jackpot option.
The version allocated about 68 percent towards the jackpot. A player choosing this option is not eligible for any of the eight lower-tier prizes; therefore, the Megaplier option is not available for Just the Jackpot wagers.
Kentucky has since added "Just the Jackpot", with other lotteries potentially adding it. Not known is whether a second series of playslips would be printed for lotteries offering "Just the Jackpot" beginning after the October 28, format change.
Most Just the Jackpot wagers are terminal-generated; however, JtJ wagers in Kansas and Texas allow the player to choose their numbers, while Wisconsin players must ask for a terminal-generated ticket.
This was done to enforce social distancing and discourage crowding of selling venues for large jackpots, and to account for lower interest rates.
The record Mega Millions jackpot was claimed on March 5, , with the winner choosing to remain anonymous under South Carolina law.
Two winning tickets, one each from California and Georgia, were sold. The holder of the California ticket claimed on January 3, The California ticket holder received an equal share, but potentially a larger cash-option amount, as California lottery winnings are exempt from state income tax.
The July 24, drawing produced the fourth-largest jackpot pending the larger one on offer the following October. One ticket from Indiana won the jackpot; the winner chose the cash option.
The holders of each ticket also chose the cash option. Mega Millions players have the option to activate a multiplier , called Megaplier , in 46 of its 47 jurisdictions; it is functionally similar to Powerball's Power Play ; except the latter limits the second-prize multiplier to 2x.
Neither Megaplier nor Power Play are offered in California because its state penal code distinguishes between a "lottery" in which the bank cannot be "broken", and a "banked game" whose bank theoretically could be broken ; only a "lottery" was authorized by the state Lottery Act.
The Megaplier is drawn by the Texas Lottery before the cross-sell expansion on January 31, , it was the only lottery to offer Megaplier , it is drawn by a random number generator RNG.
The odds for each Megaplier possibility are not uniform. Former Mega Millions odds October 19, — October 27, : .
The probability and odds can be taken into a mathematical perspective: The probability of winning the jackpot through October 27, was 1: 75 C 5 x 15 ; that is: 75 ways for the first white ball times 74 ways for the second times 73 for the third times 72 for the fourth times 71 for the last white ball divided by 5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1, or 5!
The overall probability of winning any prize was 1 in If there are no jackpot winners for a specific drawing, the jackpot will keep increasing; however, the odds will still remain the same.
Overall probabilities: 1 in of winning any of the top six prizes,  1 in 40 of winning any prize. In California, prize levels are paid on a parimutuel basis, rather than the fixed lower-tier amounts for winners in other Mega Millions jurisdictions.
California's eight lower-tier Mega Millions prize pools are separate from those shared by the other 45 lotteries. In Georgia, New Jersey , and Texas , players must choose, in advance, whether they wish to collect a jackpot prize in cash or annuity.
Georgia and New Jersey winners can change an annuity ticket to cash should they be eligible to claim a jackpot; however, the choice is binding in Texas.
If a jackpot prize is not claimed within the respective jurisdiction's time limit, each of the 46 Mega Millions members get back the money they contributed to that jackpot.
Mega Millions Winners Mega Millions. October 23rd March 30th December 17th July 24th January 5th January 1st Players are required to select five white numbers from a possible 70, followed by one red Mega Ball from a second pool of The jackpot is won if any ticket matches the full set of numbers, while there are eight more prize tiers rewarding players who match fewer numbers.
This Mega Millions data includes all draws up to and including Friday 4 th December Chronology is used to distinguish ties.
Players must pick 5 balls from a pool of 70 and 1 Mega Ball from a separate pool of An extra option for Mega Millions players in the majority of states is to add the Megaplier to their ticket.
The Megaplier provides a way to multiply the value of non-jackpot prizes by up to five times, so anyone who has added the option to their ticket will see their award increased if they have matched enough numbers.
A multiplier — 2x, 3x, 4x or 5x — will be drawn at random before the main draw takes place and winning players will have their prize boosted by the value of that multiplier.
The following table shows the odds of each Megaplier being selected. Mega Millions can trace its roots back to August , when it was launched as The Big Game and tickets were sold across six states for its Friday night draws.
The original game required players to select five numbers from a pool of 50, plus one additional number from a second pool of