Is $790 million worth a $2 Mega Millions ticket? It depends

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Is $790 million worth $2?

That’s a good question, since it costs $2 to buy a Mega Millions lottery ticket that can pay out an estimated $790 million in prizes. 4th largest jackpot in the countryAfter the next drawing for the Tuesday night game.

Isn’t this an obvious question?

Not really.

To begin with, your A chance to win a great prize is less, one in 302.5 million. You have better chances for smaller payouts, such as winning $1 million for matching five regular numbers but missing the Megaball. But it’s also one in 12.6 million. To put that in perspective, the possibility of you dying in a car accident — a lottery ticket to consider when you drive to the mini-mart — is a lifetime 101, according to the nonprofit National Safety Council. is close to one of

As lottery officials note, players should think of their $2 bet as a chance to dream while accepting the reality they likely won’t enter the new income tax bracket Tuesday night.

Still, a shot at $790 million seems worth $2.

Ah, but even if you Somehow beat the odds You won’t get $790 million.

First, it is money for winners who take the annuity option to pay more than 30 annual payments. But winners almost always choose cash, which would pay an estimated $464.4 million for this drawing.

And then there are federal taxes, which will cut that prize money by 37%, leaving it at less than $300 million, though state taxes can cut that amount as well, depending on where the winner is. Lives. Still a fortune, but a small fortune. It also doesn’t account for the possibility that someone else will match the winning numbers, meaning they’ll need to split even those small wins in half or more, depending on the number of lucky players.

About $300 million is unchanged.

This is definitely a big payday.

To put this in perspective, consider that the US household income in 2020 was $67,500, meaning that a lifetime of work at that rate would account for less than 1% of the small jackpot after taxes.

But sadly if you won the same prize a year ago. The country endured a year with an inflation rate of around 9 percentyour purchasing power would have been significantly higher.

But someone will win.

Ultimately, though, the cause is the Grand Prize It has become so big Because no one has matched all six numbers since April. That’s 28 consecutive drawings without anyone hitting the jackpot.

Now with so many people playing that the potential top prize is so large, it becomes more and more likely that one or more players will eventually break the streak. Still, past prizes have grown, as the biggest payout was the $1.586 billion Powerball jackpot won in 2016.

Mega Millions is played in 45 states as well as Washington, DC, and the US Virgin Islands. The game is overseen by state lottery officials.

So, is it worth the $2 gamble?

If you enjoy dreaming of a giant hurricane that most likely won’t blow your way, buy a ticket. But if you need to watch your money, consider keeping $2 in your wallet.