The record-breaking Mega Millions drawing, with a jackpot worth almost $1 billion, is scheduled for 11 p.m. ET Friday night.
This is the biggest jackpot in the game's history and the second-biggest lottery prize in U.S. history, behind only the 2016 Powerball jackpot that hit $1.58 billion, reports NBC News. If no one wins Friday, Mega Millions will pass that mark, reading $1.6 billion for Tuesday's drawing.
The jackpot winner can chose two different ways to take home the money. The annuity option pays out the prize over 29 annual payments, with each payment 5 percent bigger than the last one. The second option is a one-size, lump-sum payment, which will be worth $565 million.
Mega Millions is played in every state except for Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada, Utah, Alabama and Mississippi. It is also played in the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Tickets are $2 each.
The jackpot as been on the rise since July 24, the last time a winning ticket had all six numbers. It was a $543 million jackpot, which went to 11 co-workers in California.
"This is truly uncharted territory, and it's exciting to see people across the country buying their tickets and joining in the fun," Gordon Medenica, Mega Millions Lead Director and the Director of Maryland Lottery and Gaming, said in a statement. "Hitting the $1 billion mark for the first time is historic, and we can't wait to meet the winners who will share in that history."
Even if you do not win the jackpot, it is important to hold onto your tickets, since you can still take home a prize. During the 24 drawings since the last jackpot, 22 million winning tickets have been sold, including 34 $1 million winning tickets. Even if you only match one number, you can win $4. Three matching numbers, plus a matching Megaplier ball gives you a $200 prize. If you get four matching numbers plus the Megaplier ball, you win $10,000.
If you do win, lottery officials told The Associated Press that the first steps should be taking a deep breath and putting the lottery ticket in a very safe place. Then, you should find a financial planner before heading over to the lottery headquarters. States also have different rules on how to claim the ticket. Winners can remain anonymous in Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio and South Carolina.0comments
As for taxes, all states automatically take 24 percent in federal taxes for winnings of $5,000 or more. Some states also have different laws for state taxes.
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