Mega Millions Lottery is a multi-state lottery played twice a week in participating states in the United States of America. Mega Millions has an initial jackpot of $15 Million which rolls over until a lottery player wins it.
How to Play Mega Millions
Mega Millions lottery players choose five numbers from 1 to 75 in one set, and 1 number from 1 to 15 in a second set. All digits must match draw results to win a Mega Millions jackpot.
Mega Millions Lottery players can also opt for an Easy Pick option which allows for lottery numbers to be chosen for a lottery player automatically by a computer-generated random number generator.
Matching Lottery Numbers
Matching all six numbers pays out the top jackpot in the Mega Millions Lottery game. There are also eight other prize tiers ranging from $2 to a whopping $1,000,000 for matching numbers in different combinations.
Pari-Mutuel State Winners
In California, prize amounts get based on ticket sales and number of winners and no Mega Plier feature is allowed as it is a pari-mutuel state. That essentially means lottery players can only win amounts from a shared pool.
Mega Plier Feature
The Mega Plier feature allows players to win 2x, 3x or even 4x their prize value. This feature is a paid for one which players can opt for by paying an extra $1. This feature is optional and allows for a multiplier of wins.
It means that if a player wins $1,000,000 on a draw by matching five numbers, they could double the win with the Mega Plier feature if taken. The Mega Plier feature is not available on the main jackpot though, for obvious reasons.
Mega Millions Lottery History
Mega Millions Lottery was initially called the Big Game when it launched on August 31st, 1996. The first draw took place on Friday, September 6th, 1996 with just six states participating. These were Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan and Virginia.
In February 1998, a Tuesday draw of Mega Millions got added to the lottery game based on the phenomenal response it received the previous year.
The first format of the Big Game paid out winners of the top jackpot only in annual instalments. A cash value option for lottery winners got first introduced in January 1999.
In May 2002, the name of this already successful lottery game changed to Mega Millions Lottery.
First Mega Millions Winner from Chicago
There was a lottery jackpot winner in the very first Mega Millions draw on May 17, 2002. One lucky lottery player from Chicago claimed a $28 Million from a single winning ticket. The jackpot restarted at $12 Million and was won the following week again.
The growth of Mega Millions
More American states joined Mega Millions Lottery over the years until there were 12 participating states by June 2005, making this lottery game the most widely played multi-state lottery jackpot game in the United States.
Mega Millions Lottery then teamed up with Powerball Lottery in a cross-selling contract on January 31st, 2010, adding 23 more state lotteries into the lottery game.
Mega Millions Lottery currently plays in 44 jurisdictions within the USA. To date, Mega Millions has awarded seven big jackpot wins of over $300 Million each.
On March 30th, 2012, the Mega Millions Lottery jackpot reached a record-breaking $656 Million. This lottery jackpot is the record amount for a lottery payout and was shared by three winning tickets, one each from Kansas (unclaimed), Illinois and Maryland.
Lottery players enjoy Mega Millions Lottery as there are so many prizes up for grabs.
Following recent changes ( Oct 2013 ) made, there are more prize levels and the smallest jackpot as well as increases in rollover amounts have increased.