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August, 19 2016
Mega Millions (initially called The Big Game Mega Millions as the successor of The Big Game) is an American multi-jurisdictional $1 lottery game. The first (The Big Game) Mega Millions drawing was in 2002 (see below).
The minimum Mega Millions advertised jackpot is $12,000,000, paid in 26 equal yearly installments (unless the cash option is chosen); usually, the jackpot increases when there is no top-prize winner. However, despite no jackpot winner for the $12,000,000 December 18, 2012 drawing, the jackpot remained at $12,000,000 for the drawing to be held on December 21. (See below for information on how the game's jackpot is funded.)
Reflecting common practice among American lotteries, the jackpot is advertised as a nominal value of annual installments. A cash value option (the usual choice), when chosen by a jackpot winner (see below), pays the approximate present value of the installments. Mega Millions currently uses a 5/56 (white balls) plus 1/46 (the Mega Ball) double matrix to select its winning numbers. Each game costs $1. Of the 45 Mega Millions jurisdictions, all but California offer an option, called Megaplier (such games are $2 each) where non-jackpot prizes are multiplied by 2, 3, or 4. The Megaplier was made available to all Mega Millions jurisdictions in January 2011; it began as a Texas-only option. Mega Millions is drawn at 10:59 p.m. Eastern time Tuesdays and Fridays, including holidays. Mega Millions is administered by a consortium of its 12 original lotteries and the drawings are held at WSB-TV in Atlanta, Georgia. supervised by the Georgia Lottery.