Hefty $1.1 billion jackpot in US multistate Mega Millions up for grabs

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Written By Pinang Driod

(Reuters) – The fifth largest jackpot in the history of the U.S. multistate Mega Millions is up for grabs on Tuesday when a lucky winner could scoop up $1.1 billion – before tax, that is.

The top prize has ballooned after remaining unclaimed for 30 consecutive drawings. The televised ceremony starts at 11 pm ET (0300 GMT on Wednesday) and a successful gambler must match five white balls from a set numbered 1 through 70, as well as a gold ball from a set numbered 1 through 25.

While big, the jackpot is still some distance away from the largest seen in a Mega Millions draw. In Florida last year the jackpot was $1.6 billion, with the winner – who opted to remain anonymous – defying odds of 1 in 302.6 million.

If someone does strike lucky on Tuesday, tax authorities will be paying attention. The winner can either walk away with $525.8 million in a lump sum or spread the payments out over 30 years, paying income tax annually.

Tickets for the twice-weekly draws are $2 each and are sold in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

A Powerball drawing for $800 million, one of the largest jackpots in the history of that U.S. lottery game, found no winners on Monday night.

The largest single lottery prize total in U.S. history is the $2.04 billion that a lone Powerball ticket holder in California won in November 2022.

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