Mega Millions actually began as “The Big Game” in August 1996. Initially, the lottery started off with only six states, namely, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Virginia, and soon gathered popularity all over the U.S.A. Today, almost every jurisdiction is an active participant in the lottery. The game has undergone changes twice, to the ‘The Big Game Mega Millions’ in 2002 and to what it is known today, ‘Mega Millions’ in 2005.
Mega Millions made history on March 30, 2012, with the world’s largest prize in any jackpot game till that date with a sum of $656 million. This Lottery Jackpot Prize record stood for almost four years until it was overtaken by a $1.586 billion Powerball jackpot in January 2016. Mega Millions joined this billion-dollar club on October 23, 2018, with whopping prize money of $1.537 billion. It was the world’s largest lottery prize ever won on a single ticket, sold in South Carolina with just one winning ticket in the drawing.
Mega Millions relaunched itself with a new matrix on October 19, 2013, and became the first in the Jackpot game to offer second-tier prizes of up to $5 Million.
October 2017 brought some structural changes in Mega Millions and made the win to Jackpot prizes onerous while easing out the win over million-dollar prizes. These changes facilitated larger jackpots with a three-times increase of the starting jackpot.
The 2017 reforms also raised the prices of tickets from $1 per play to $2 per play, and the Megaplier for $3 per play. It also included the drop in the number of white balls, from 75 to 70 that requires matching in any order. And offers 25 numbers to choose for the Mega Ball instead of 15 which is the required ball to win a jackpot. Even the starting jackpot was increased from $15 million to $40 million. The game also came up with an innovative ‘Just The Jackpot’ wagers and increased some of the non-jackpot payouts for its players.
You need to visit the official premises of the lottery to claim your winnings. It is advised that you take your time, assemble a professional team of tax attorneys, finance managers, and accountants before claiming your winnings. Confirm if your state allows you to claim you winnings anonymously.