Tuesday’s Mega Millions Drawing: Is $810 Million Worth $2 Mega Millions Tickets? It depends

Des Moines, Iowa — Is $810 million worth $2?

That’s a good question, given that the $2 it costs to buy a Mega Millions lottery ticket can pay off an estimate. $810 million prize – the nation’s fourth largest jackpot – the Tuesday night after the game’s next drawing.

Isn’t this an obvious question?

Not really.

To begin with, your chance of winning the grand prize is 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, your chance of dying in a car accident — something to consider when driving to the mini-mart for your lottery ticket, according to the nonprofit National Safety Council — is one in 101 over a lifetime. is close to

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.

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Still, a shot at $810 million seems worth $2.

Ah, but even if you somehow beat the odds you won’t get $810 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 $470.1 million for this drawing.

And then there are federal taxes, which will cut that prize money by 37 percent, to less than $300 million, though state taxes can cut that amount as well, depending on where the winner lives. . Still a fortune, but a small fortune. It also doesn’t factor in the possibility that someone else matches 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 had won the same prize a year ago, before the nation endured a year of inflation at around 9%, your purchasing power would have been significantly higher.

But someone will win.

Ultimately, the reason the grand prize is so big is 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.

look How does the lottery jackpot grow?

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