Posted on | March 30, 2012 | No Comments
The US Mega Millions lotto jackpot has gone over $640m (£400m). How crazy is that? And I thought the EuroMillions was big. The draw takes place at 23:00 EDT which is 04:00 GMT.
Play the Mega Millions Lottery From The UK HERE. Our advice- get in there early before the draw, as often these kinds of sites have to shut down the service as the demand literally becomes too big for them to manage.
When we first wrote this article this morning, the jackpot was $560 million. Since then, those Crazy American cousins have been buying up tickets faster than a Little Red Corvette and the pot has swelled by another $100m. Incredible…
What would you do with £400m? Even if you went down to the Bugatti showroom to take a look at the most expensive car in the world: Bugatti Veyron Super Sports, you’d be able to afford over 200 of them (but then you’d have a big maintenance bill every month). You’d be worth more than the GDP of Samoa, that Pacific Island where they are so good at playing rugby.
The Mega Millions prize in this US lottery is now the biggest lottery jackpot in history, organisers say.
What Are The Odds of Winning The Mega Millions Jackpot?
Watch this Excellent Video To Learn About How To Work Out the Probability of Winning the Mega Millions. This Will Hurt Your Head, But It is Very Good! Mega Millions Maths……. or Math as they say in the Yoo Ess Ay.
It’s basically (56x55x54x53x52) / (5x4x3x2x1), which is the white ball odds, multiplied by 46, which is the orange ball odds. That comes to 1 in 175,711,536.
This guy on the video puts this into context nicely. the odds of you getting struck by lightning are 1:10,000 roughly. The odds of you getting struck twice by lightning are 1:100 million. So the odds of you winning the Mega Million Jackpot are around one and three quarters times more unlikely than you getting struck by lightning twice. Not very likely, in other words.
The size of the Mega Millions jackpot has been heading up and up since late January: US media have reported a ticket buying frenzy over in the States, with queues of people waiting to buy tickets to earn their chance at scooping the giant prize.
A total of 42 US states sell tickets for the lottery, and tickets cost just $1.
If one person won it, and they wanted to “take the cash”, the maximum instant cash payout would be smaller, at under $400m (oh no! Can you survive on that?)
If the winner wanted the whole $540m they would have to get the prize in 26 annual instalments. (Tough choice actually. You’d go for the 26 annual installments wouldn’t you? I suppose it would depend on whether you were 18 or 88).
The largest jackpot to be paid out previously was a $390m Mega Millions (again) that was shared between two winning tickets in 2007.
Despite the growing frenzy, the odds are still stacked against anyone winning the six-ball jackpot: the chance of winning is just 1:176,000,000.
So can UK residents play the Mega Millions? Can you play it online?
Well, yes you can. But be careful who you play with.
You have to buy Mega Millions tickets from lottery retailers in the 42 playing states plus the District of Columbia and the U. S. Virgin Islands; a total of 44 areas.
Mind you- could be worth a flight out, if you think you are that 1 person in 176,000,000.
There are plenty of sites that offer Mega Millions lotto tickets online. But here’s the thing. If you buy a ticket through someone else, and they have to wander down to the shops to actually physically buy the ticket. And that ticket is the $540 million ticket, are they going to hand it over? I am sceptical!
The only company I vaguely trust in this respect is Win Trillions, and that’s because they scan the ticket for you so at least you have some proof. Then they send it to you by email.
Watch out at other sites. Some may be ok, some may be scams. And you don’t want to fall foul of a Mega Millions Lottery Scam. You’d be sick to the stomach.
For example, I am looking at the following site: Buy Mega Millions Online.
Here’s what it says in the T’s and C’s:
All tickets will remain in the possession of Buy Mega Millions Online, and will not be mailed to you. (!!). Could be OK. Who’s to know?
I’d want to have the physical ticket thanks. And Federal Law prohibits the mailing of lottery tickets. But if you really want to have a crack at it (and let’s face it, it’s not a massive investment), go for Win Trillions
However, you can play the Mega Millions Jackpot if you are a UK Citizen. On theie website, they state that non-US citizens can legally play, and non-US citizens are eligible to win any prize offered in the game.
If you win and you are a UK resident, you would claim the $540million prize in the same way that a US citizen would, but the taxes withheld would be different. BUT, the US and the UK have a Double Taxation Treaty so you are not going to get stung twice. Come on, that’s still $378 million after the withholding tax!: Federal withholding tax for non-US citizens is a flat 30%. And, individual states may have different tax structures for non-US citizens than they do for US citizens, so you might get some more tax grabs at the State level.
The good news is that you would probably pay less tax than a US citizen on a bumper win, if you are a UK tax resident.
If you want to play, we’d advise you to get someone (that you trust!) to buy the tickets for you, OR, buy the tickets yourself if you happen to be over there on holiday.
But I wouldn’t buy an airline ticket to the States on a one in 176 million chance of scooping the jackpot, even if it is $378 million after taxes. You may as well have a punt on the Euro Millions and lose your ticket down the sofa on this side of The Pond.
If you do win, can you do us a favour? Please donate some money for us to the Alzheimer’s Society. $539m ought to do it. Cheers!
By the way, the states of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Alaska, Hawaii, Wyoming, Utah and Nevada are not participating in the draw so don’t buy a ticket to Honolulu if you were thinking of flying over to purchase a ticket. No sir.