Mega Millions (originally known as The Big Game in 1996 and renamed, temporarily, to The Big Game Mega Millions six years later) is an American multijurisdictional lottery game. The first drawing took place on September 6, 1996, with six participating states, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Massachusetts, and Virginia. After exciting growth of the game in 1997, a Tuesday Drawing was added in February 1998. As of June 30, 2023, it is offered in 45 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The first (The Big Game) Mega Millions drawing was in 2002. What is now Mega Millions initially was offered in six states, the logo for all versions of the game following the retirement of The Big Game name featured a gold-colored ball with six stars to represent the game's initial membership, although some lotteries insert their respective logos in the ball.
Mega Millions is drawn at 11:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday and Friday evenings, including holidays. Mega Millions is administered by a consortium of its 12 original lotteries, the drawings are held at the studios of WSB-TV in Atlanta, Georgia, supervised by the Georgia Lottery. The hosts are John Crow, Carol Blackmon, and Adria Wofford.
Under the current version's regulations (which began October 28, 2017, with the first drawing October 31) for Mega Millions, the minimum Mega Millions advertised jackpot is $20 million, paid in 30 graduated yearly installments, increasing 5% each year (unless the cash option is chosen, see below for differences by lotteries on cash/annuity choice regulations). The jackpot increases when no top-prize winner results.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, pays the approximate present value of the installments. Mega Millions' previous format began on October 19, 2013, its first drawing was three days later. In the current version of Mega Millions, five white balls are drawn from a pool of 70, and one gold-colored "MegaBall" is drawn from a separate pool of 25, a player must match all six numbers to win the jackpot.
Each game costs $2. Of the 47 Mega Millions jurisdictions, all but California offer an option, called "Megaplier" (plays with the Megaplier are $3 each) where non-jackpot prizes are multiplied by 2, 3, 4, or 5. The Megaplier was made available to all Mega Millions jurisdictions in January 2011, it began as an option available only in Texas. Several of the game's members offer the Just the Jackpot option, in which two plays cost $3. Only the jackpot can be won, none of the lower-tier prizes are available on such a wager.The largest winning jackpot in Mega Millions history was $1.602 billion, for the August 8, 2023 drawing, in which a single winning jackpot ticket was sold in Florida.

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