What to know about the $1.1 billion Mega Millions jackpot in Connecticut

Unused lottery tickets can be seen inside a 7-Eleven store, Tuesday, July 26, 2022. 

Unused lottery tickets can be seen inside a 7-Eleven store, Tuesday, July 26, 2022. 

Godofredo A. Vásquez/AP

Mega Millions fever is sweeping the nation as the jackpot for the game has crossed the $1 billion mark.

Since April 15, the Mega Millions lottery game has not had any players claim its growing jackpot. After three and a half months of sitting stagnant, that jackpot prize has grown to $1.1 billion, currently the second highest Mega Millions jackpot of all time. 

The largest Mega Millions jackpot was a $1.537 billion ticket that was sold in October 2018

Want to know more about the game or have questions about winning? Check out our FAQ below.

When is the next Mega Millions drawing?

The next drawing takes places on Friday, July 29 at 11 p.m. EST. Wagering closes at 10:45 p.m. for that drawing and reopens at 11:15 p.m. for the next drawing. 

What is the jackpot? How much is the value of the cash option?

The jackpot for the Mega Millions sits at $1.1 billion. The value of cash option of the jackpot is $648.2 million. 

How do you play Mega Millions?

Players must pick six numbers from two separate areas. One area asks players to pick five numbers between one and 70. In the other section dedicated to the Mega Ball, players pick one number between one and 25. Each ticket costs $2. For $1 extra per ticket, players can pick a Megaplier option that increases their earnings if they win a prize outside of the jackpot.

Where can I purchase a Mega Millions ticket?

Mega Millions tickets can be purchased wherever the Connecticut Lottery is played. The Connecticut Lottery has a locator on its site to find your nearest lottery location.

What are the odds of hitting the jackpot?

The odds of hitting the jackpot are 1 in 302,575,350.

Despite this, there is still 1 in 24 chance to win some form of prize with Mega Millions, according to the lottery's website. Even getting a few numbers can get you prizes like the $30,000 won by one recent Connecticut player.

According to the Washington Post, you're 70 times more likely to be killed by a shark and at least 216 times as likely to be struck by lightning this year than hit the jackpot.

How are you paid if you win the jackpot?

If you choose the annuity option, you will be paid with one immediate payment, which will then be followed by 29 annual payments. Each payment will be 5 percent more than the previous payment. If the cash option is chosen, then the winner will receive their winnings in one lump sum. 

How are the winnings taxed?

The annuity option guarantees that the winner would be paid the full $1.1 billion over 30 years. However, a 24 percent federal tax is applied to each payment. Additional federal tax would leave the winner with roughly $23 million annually. State taxes are additionally implemented to those earnings. Connecticut's state income tax is 6.99 percent. The state income tax is required on all winnings regardless of residency.

With the cash option, the winner would also be subject to a 24 percent federal tax withholding that would be applied to the lump sum. The winner would also be paying additional taxes at higher brackets, which could leave the winner with roughly $379.6 million after taxes, according to Forbes

If I don't win the jackpot, how much could I win?

There are different configurations that could have players win anywhere from $2 to $5,000,000. The configurations are as follows:

Mega Ball: $2, with Megaplier: Up to $5 

One ball with Mega Ball: $4, with Megaplier: Up to $20

Two balls with Mega Ball: $10, with Megaplier: Up to $50

Three balls: $10, with Megaplier: Up to $50

Three balls with Mega Ball: $200, with Megaplier: Up to $1,000

Four balls: $500, with Megaplier: Up to $2,500

Four balls with Mega Ball: $10,000, with Megaplier: Up to $50,000

Five balls: $1,000,000, with Megaplier: Up to $5,000,000

How do I claim a prize if I win?

The jackpot and any prize larger than $50,000 must be claimed in person at the Connecticut Lottery headquarters in Rocky Hill, according to the Connecticut Lottery. If someone loses their ticket, and it was unsigned, the Connecticut Lottery states that “anyone else who has the ticket can claim the prize.” If the ticket is damaged, the ticket still must be brought to the Connecticut Lottery headquarters. However, the process can take four to six weeks in order to confirm the prize.

Two valid forms of signed identification are needed to prove your identity when claiming prizes at Connecticut Lottery headquarters.

You have 60 days from the day of the drawing to claim your prize, according to the Connecticut Lottery.

Are there any lottery scams that I should be aware of?

Mega Millions states that no representative will ever call, text or e-mail you about winning a prize. Recent scams involve people calling from faux organizations like the "United States National Lottery," "Mega Millions Mobile Lottery," or the "Mega Millions Corporation." Mega Millions will never use the aforementioned ways of communication to get you to share your social security number or request that you send them money for lottery fees. Additionally, be wary if someone calls you saying that you've won. Even if you did, you still need to go directly to CT Lottery headquarters and not give the scammer any information.