Mega Millions Jackpot is at $865 million: How to play, where to watch, and where the money goes

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(WETM) – The Mega Millions jackpot is estimated to be at $865 million dollars, the second-highest in the game’s history.

So how do you put your name in the hat and play?

How to play

Each Mega Millions ticket costs $2.00 per play.

The Mega Millions website states, “Players may pick six numbers from two separate pools of numbers – five different numbers from 1 to 70 (the white balls) and one number from 1 to 25 (the gold Mega Ball) – or select Easy Pick/Quick Pick. You win the jackpot by matching all six winning numbers in a drawing.”

Tickets are available at most grocery stores and gas stations. To find a retailer close to you, visit the New York Lottery website.

Where to watch

You can watch tonight’s drawing live on WETM 18 News at 11 p.m.

Where the money goes

If someone wins the Mega Millions jackpot they can choose to take a lump sum or an annuity payment option.

The Mega Millions website says taking the annuity option is to “help protect winner’s lifestyle and purchasing power in periods of inflation”.

A one-time, lump-sum payment that is equal to the cash in the Mega Millions jackpot prize pool.

However, all of the money does not go winners. Each state donates a percentage of the ticket sales revenue to various causes.

The New York Lottery website states, “For Mega Millions, Take 5, Numbers, Win 4, Cash4Life, and Pick 10: up to 50% of ticket sales receipts may be used for prizes.”

So where does the other 50% go?

For New York, their lottery ticket revenue goes towards education.

“New York Lottery revenue is distributed to local school districts by the same statutory formula used to distribute other state aid to education, ” according to the New York Lottery website. “It takes into account both a school district’s size and its income level; larger, lower-income school districts receive proportionately larger shares of Lottery school funding.”

Their website also states that the New York Lottery is North America’s most profitable lottery and it contributed $3.47 billion in the 2018-2019 fiscal year to education in the state.

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