How much money will you get if you win the Mega Millions jackpot and what should you do?

A giant Mega Millions lottery jackpot rose to $1.02 billion on Tuesday night when no one matched all six numbers and won the top prize.


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Mega Millions jackpot

The new predicted jackpot will be the country's fourth-largest lottery prize.


The jackpot has grown so large that no one has been able to match the game's six selected numbers since April 15. That's 29 draws in a row without a big winner.


Tuesday's numbers: 07-29-60-63-66, Mega Ball: 15.


The $1.02 billion prize is for winners who choose the annuity option paid annually for 30 years. Most winners choose the cash option with an estimated $602.5 million for the next draw on Friday night.


What are my chances of winning the Mega Millions jackpot?


The probability of winning the jackpot is 1 in 302.5 million.


Mega Millions in 45 states, Washington, D.C. and the US Virgin Islands. The game is coordinated by state lotteries.


How much is the jackpot, when is the draw, what are my chances of winning?


According to the Mega Millions website, the jackpot rose to $810 million with a $470.1 million cash option, as no ticket matched all five numbers and Friday night's golden Mega Ball 16 draw. On Tuesday night, it was not immediately known whether one or more people matched all six numbers.


The chance of matching all six numbers is roughly 1 in 303 million. Mega Millions tickets, costing $2 each, are sold in 45 states, the District of Columbia and the US Virgin Islands.


Why shouldn't you tell everyone?


"Some of these scammers have incorrectly identified themselves as being associated with Mega Millions," Mega Millions said. "These scams all have one thing in common: They try to trick you into sending them money or personal information by claiming you've won a big lottery prize."


Mega Millions said that no representative of Mega Millions will call, text or email anyone to win prizes.


Also remember, "no real lottery tells the winners to put in their own money to get a prize they've already won," they said.


If you can't tell everyone you've won, what can or should you do?


  • Get a tax attorney and tax accountant now, followed by a financial advisor.

  • Decide which payment option to choose.

  • Remember; An annuity option makes the first annual payment followed by 29 annual payments. Each payout is 5% larger than the previous one. The cash option is a one-time lump sum equal to all cash in the Mega Millions jackpot prize pool.


Should you get a lump sum or installment payment?


This decision depends on your goals, your age, and what lottery rules you have to keep beneficiaries paid, or whether you're likely to squander a lump sum.


How much money will you get after taxes?


It depends on how you decide to take your money and complicated state laws.


If you win the Mega Millions lottery, you will likely be relegated to the highest federal tax bracket. Your state of residence and where you purchased the winning ticket can greatly affect the amount you pay in state taxes.


For example, if you reside in California and bought your ticket there, then you pay the 37% federal tax rate and owe the state 11%..


However, if you're a California resident and on vacation in Rhode Island and you decide to buy a ticket there, you owe federal tax, but maybe not California state tax because you're purchasing from out of state.


This is where a tax professional really comes in handy. Because government taxes can be very misleading.


How long will it take you to get your money if you win Mega Millions?


You can get your money within a few weeks after winning the prize.


Remember, most people won't claim their earnings right away because it will take time to build their plans. Claim times vary by jurisdiction, so people should check with the lottery in the state where the ticket was purchased to get the current claim period for that ticket.


The lottery said Mega Millions claim times range from 90 days to one year from the date of the draw, but vary by jurisdiction. Winning ticket holders must check with the lottery in the state where the ticket was purchased.

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