Lottery players across the United States are buying their Mega Millions tickets in preparation for Friday’s massive $200 million drawing.
The cash value stands at a staggering $145.4 million. Lottery players typically think of the cash value as roughly half of the annuity estimate, but this Mega Millions cash value represents 73% of the annuity estimate.
Friday’s Mega Millions jackpot is the accumulation of 14 consecutive drawings without a top prize winner. The current jackpot run-up started on Jan. 27 as a $12 million grand prize.
Players should note that jackpot amounts are conservative estimates provided by the lotteries, and are often somewhat higher by the time the drawing occurs.
In the latest Mega Millions drawing that took place this past Tuesday night, there was no jackpot winner, but 9 lucky players matched the first 5 numbers for a $250,000 prize: 3 from California, 1 from Illinois, 1 from Massachusetts, 1 from New Jersey, 1 from New York, and 2 from Virginia.
The 3 California winners will each be awarded prizes of $235,402, because California awards all prizes in a pari-mutuel formula, which calculates the prize amount based on the number of tickets sold and the number of winners in each prize category.
The Mega Millions winning numbers for Tuesday, March 13, 2012, were 2, 8, 30, 36, and 48, with Mega Ball number 31. The Megaplier number was 3.
Following the Tuesday drawing, the Mega Millions annuity jackpot estimate was raised $29 million from its previous amount of $171 million. The cash value was raised by $20.7 million, from its previous amount of $124.7 million.
The next Mega Millions drawing will take place Friday evening at 11:00 pm EDT.
Mega Millions is currently offered for sale in 42 states, plus Washington, D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Ways to Win Powerball
|$1,000,000||1 (0 with Power Play)|
|+||$10,000||38 (8 with Power Play)|
|$100||994 (187 with Power Play)|
|+||$100||1,767 (355 with Power Play)|
|$7||53,342 (10,416 with Power Play)|
|+||$7||27,524 (5,683 with Power Play)|
|+||$4||162,930 (32,111 with Power Play)|
|$4||301,917 (57,500 with Power Play)|
|Total Number of winners:||548,513 (106,260 with Power Play)|
The colored squares above indiciate how many numbers drawn match the numbers on your ticket.
White squares – The first five numbers on your ticket can match with any of the first five numbers drawn, in any order.
Red squares – The Powerball number on your ticket can only match with the Powerball number drawn (not with one of the first five numbers).
Except for the jackpot, all of the prizes listed above are fixed prize amounts, regardless of the size of the jackpot.
Prior to January 18, 2012, the second prize amount was $200,000, and the Powerball-only prize was $3.
Prior to August 31, 2005, the second prize amount was $100,000.
How to Claim Your Prize
Sign the back of your ticket and take it to an authorized lottery sales agent for validation. If you win a prize greater than $599, you may need to complete a claim form and send it to the state’s lottery commission.
Winning tickets are subject to validation and must be claimed in the state in which they were purchased. The period in which you must claim your winning ticket varies by state:
Arizona 180 days
Arkansas 180 days
Colorado 180 days
Connecticut 180 days
Delaware 1 year
Florida 180 days
Georgia 180 days
Idaho 180 days
Illinois 1 year
Indiana 180 days
Iowa 1 year
Kansas 1 year
Kentucky 180 days
Louisiana 180 days
Maine 1 year
Maryland 182 days
Massachusetts 1 year
Michigan 1 year
Minnesota 1 year
Missouri 180 days
Montana 180 days
Nebraska 180 days
New Hampshire 1 year
New Jersey 1 year
New Mexico 90 days
New York 1 year
North Carolina 180 days
North Dakota 180 days
Ohio 180 days
Oklahoma 180 days
Oregon 1 year
Pennsylvania 1 year
Rhode Island 1 year
South Carolina 180 days
South Dakota 180 days
Tennessee 180 days
Texas 180 days
U.S. Virgin Islands 1 year
Vermont 1 year
Virginia 180 days
Washington 180 days
Washington, D.C. 1 year
West Virginia 180 days
Wisconsin 180 days