# Mega Millions: What’s the best way to choose my numbers?

Prizes have skyrocketed as no one has matched the game’s six winning numbers since April 18, up to 31 consecutive spins without a major winner.

DES MOINES, Iowa – It’s no mystery why the Mega Millions jackpot has grown to \$1.55 billion, making it the third largest ever before Tuesday night’s drawing.

Prizes have skyrocketed as no one has matched the game’s six winning numbers since April 18, up to 31 consecutive spins without a major winner. almost a string of bad luck lasts four months all could be sweeter for the last person to win the top prize, which is inching closer to a record \$2.04 billion lottery jackpot won in 2022 by a single player in California.

“It was an interesting one,” said Merlin Smith, a retired real estate appraiser who stopped Monday at a gas station in Minneapolis to buy five tickets. “But if you depend on winning, you will be very disappointed.”

## WHY TAKES ONE LONG WIN TO WIN?

It’s been a long time since the jackpot was in vain, but the 32nd draw in a row on Tuesday night since the eventual winner is still not a record. The longest time it took to win the Mega Millions jackpot was 36 draws ending January 22, 2021, with someone winning the \$1.05 billion jackpot. The record for lottery draws is a Powerball that ends in 41 spins when someone wins a record \$2.04 billion jackpot.

Victory is rare because The odds are very miserable, at 1 in 302.6 million. When a drawing doesn’t produce a big winner, the prize rolls over for weeks. Larger prizes sell more tickets, which also brings in more revenue for the state’s service lottery fund.

## HOW MUCH COMBINATION OF NUMBERS?

There are approximately 302.6 million possible combinations for five separate white balls and golden Mega balls in Mega Millions. The white balls are numbered from 1 to 70 and the Mega Ball goes from 1 to 25.

To get a better idea of ​​that number, consider that all tickets sold for last Friday’s draw generated only about 35% of possible number combinations. That means about 65% of possible combinations — or nearly 200 million options — are not covered. Lottery officials expect that as sales pick up ahead of Tuesday night’s draw, potential combinations covered will increase to just over 41 percent.

## DON’T EXPECT TO SET \$1.55 BILLION IN THE BANK

Yes, money will come in if you win the Mega Millions jackpot, but don’t expect a check for \$1.55 billion to go into your bank account.

That’s because an estimated \$1.55 billion prize goes to a single winner who chooses to be paid over 30 years through an annuity. Jackpot winners almost always choose a one-time payment, which for Tuesday night’s drawing will have an estimated value of \$757.2 million.

For either award option, a large portion of the money will go to federal taxes and possibly state taxes.

State lotteries typically reduce winnings by 24% to federal taxes, and the bill can be even higher because the top federal income tax rate is 37%. Many states also tax lottery wins.

As more people buy tickets, the chances also increase when more than one person matches all six numbers. For example, a \$1.586 billion Powerball prize was won in 2016 by three players in California, Florida and Tennessee. That means the winner might get only a fraction of the huge jackpot.

## WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO CHOOSE MY NUMBER?

Players mostly choose the easy pick option when buying tickets, letting the machine generate numbers for them. In Iowa, for example, more than 90% of Mega Millions purchases are by people who let the machine pick, rather than pick the numbers themselves.

The odds are the same whether the machine picks the numbers or you pick.

## WHERE IS THE LOTTERY PLAYED?

Mega Millions is played in 45 states, Washington, DC and the US Virgin Islands. The the game is not played in Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada and Utah.

### Edmuns DeMars

Edmund DeMarche is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Edmund DeMarche joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing edmund@ustimespost.com.