Mega Millions 2M Jackpot Split, Winning Tickets Sold in California, Florida
Friday’s Mega Millions jackpot topped estimates by lottery officials, growing to more than half of a billion dollars. And with more tickets sold for the October 14 draw and, therefore, more possible winning combinations being covered, the draw saw two tickets match all six numbers.
Lucky ticketholders in California and Florida claimed the $502 million Mega Millions jackpot after matching the white balls 9, 22, 26, 41, and 44, plus the gold Mega Ball 19. The winners will share the 11th-largest Mega Millions jackpot in the game’s history. Mega Millions began in 2002.
The $502 million pool was the first Mega Millions jackpot won since the game’s $1.337 billion prize was won by two friends in Illinois back on July 29. During the 22-draw run leading up to last Friday’s $502 million draw, Mega Millions sold more than 13.8 million winning tickets at all prize levels, including 25 second-tier prizes of at least $1 million.
Friday’s jackpot was just the sixth time this year that the Mega Millions jackpot has been won. The Mega Millions jackpot resets to $20 million for its next drawing on Tuesday night.
Most major lottery winners opt for the lump cash option over the full value of the jackpot paid out of a 30-year annuity. If that trend continues with Mega Millions’ two newest multimillionaires, each will receive $126 million before taxes.
The win would be subject to an effective federal tax of 37%, which slashes each haul down to about $79.4 million. And while both players overcame the nearly insurmountable odds of just one in over 302.5 million in matching all six numbers, their luck didn’t end there.
Since they purchased their Mega Millions tickets in California and Florida, no state tax will be levied on the life-changing wins. California and Florida are two of only nine states that don’t tax lottery prizes as income. The others are Delaware, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming.
The states that do tax lottery prizes range in their tariffs from 2.9% in North Dakota to as high as 8.95% in Maryland.
Though they won’t have to pay a state lottery tax, the lucky players won’t be allowed to remain anonymous in California or Florida. Though 11 states allow lottery winners to remain anonymous, California and Florida require that lottery winners allow their names to be published in order to collect their prizes.
The Florida ticket was sold at a 7-Eleven in Fort Myers, the Gulf Coast town battered last month by Hurricane Ian. The California ticket was sold at a 7-Eleven in San Jose.
Miss out on the Mega Millions jackpot? Powerball has your dreams covered.
The other popular US lottery game has an estimated jackpot of $480 million for Monday night’s draw. The jackpot has an estimated cash value of $242.2 million.
If no ticket matches all six numbers tonight, the Powerball jackpot will inch closer to the game’s top 10 largest jackpots list. To crack the top 10, the jackpot will need to exceed $564.1 million — which was won back in February 2015 when players in North Carolina, Puerto Rico, and Texas shared the prize.
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