In January of 2016, the biggest lottery jackpot ever was won. Those three Powerball winners received a combined $1.586 billion. And in its nearly 50-year history, the Massachusetts lottery has given out over $88 billion in prizes.
Playing the lotto is one of the most exciting and lucrative ways to get rich quick. If you're interested in trying your hand at the Massachusetts lottery, it's important that you first know exactly how to play.
While some people have figured out how to "beat" the Massachusetts lottery system by buying enough tickets, most of us can't afford to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to get those favorable odds.
For the rest of us, we just have to know the right way to play so that we can give ourselves the best chances at winning. So continue reading and we'll walk you through the Mega Millions, Lucky for Life, and Powerball rules.
Powerball is an American lottery game that's played in the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and 45 US states. The game is managed by the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL). MUSL is a nonprofit group that was created by an agreement with multiple US lotteries.
The minimum jackpot you can expect to win from Powerball is $40 million. You can choose to have that money disbursed to you in thirty graduated installments or opt to receive a lump sum payment instead. The lump sum payment will be worth less than the thirty payments.
There are two reasons for this. First, the lump sum you receive will be less valuable over time due to inflation. And second, you'll be taxed at a higher rate for the one large payment of cash instead of thirty smaller payment.
The drawings for the game are held every Saturday and Wednesday evening at 10:59 pm Eastern Time. Powerball has used a 1/26 (Powerballs) + 5/69 (white balls) matrix from which the winning numbers are chosen, since October of 2015. This means that each time you play, your odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are 1 out of 292,201,338.
To play Powerball, you pay $2 or $3 with the Power Play option. 10:00 pm Eastern Time is the official cutoff time for ticket sales. The drawings for Powerball are usually held in Tallahassee, FL at the Florida Lottery's studio.
Powerball produced the largest lottery jackpot ever on January 13, 2016. The total jackpot was $1.586 billion jackpot and it was split by three tickets that were sold in Melbourne Beach, Florida, in Munford, Tennessee, and in Chino Hills, California.
The lowest you can bet in Powerball is $2. For each Powerball game, players choose five numbers from a set of 69 white balls and then one number from 26 red Powerballs. The red ball number is allowed to be the same as one of the white ball numbers.
The drawing order for the five white balls doesn't matter. All of the tickets show the white ball numbers from lowest to highest.
Players aren't allowed to use the drawn Powerball to match two of their white numbers or vice versa. Players can let the machine randomly choose the numbers (referred to as "easy pick" or "quick pick") or they can select the numbers themselves.
For each Powerball drawing, the winning numbers are chosen by using two ball machines. One of the machines contains the red Powerballs and the other machine contains the white balls.
From the first machine, five white balls are drawn. Then, a red ball is drawn from the second machine. If you match the red Powerball or at least three white balls, then you have a winning card.
You can activate the Power Play option by paying an additional dollar per game. By activating Power Play, you multiply your lower-tier winnings when the jackpot is under $150 million. Power Play is drawn apart from the six numbers.
How to Claim Prizes
If you have a winning ticket, you must claim it in the jurisdiction where you purchased it, no matter where you live. You must be at least 18 to play Powerball, except in Nebraska where you need to be at least 19. You need to be 21 if you're in Mississippi, Louisiana, Iowa, and Arizona.
In Massachusetts, if you have a winning ticket, make sure that you sign the back of the ticket in order to establish your ownership of it. If your signature isn't on the back, then your ticket will be viewed as a "bearer ticket." This means that anyone who presents that ticket can claim its prize.
You also need to bring a signed photo ID card and proof of your Social Security Number.
When you win the Powerball jackpot, you'll have two options for receiving your payment. First, you can choose to be paid in 30 graduated annual installments. Each payment will increase by 5% in order to adjust for inflation.
If you don't want to wait, you can also take the lump sum cash prize. This is paid in two installments. The first installment will come from the winning jurisdiction and the second one will come from the combined funds of the other members.
The advertised jackpot number is only for people who choose to be paid in annual installments. If the jackpot isn't won, then the prize pool is rolled over to the next drawing and continues to increase until a winning ticket is claimed.
MUSL is contractually liable and obligated to make all scheduled payments to the winners who choose the annual installments. Each time the Powerball jackpot is won, the next jackpot automatically becomes $40 million. Each time the jackpot isn't won, it needs to increase by at least $10 million.
If the ticket sale revenue isn't enough to raise the jackpot pool, then additional funds will have to be contributed by game members so that they can cover the shortage. This usually happens when the jackpot is won in back to back drawings.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a drop in lottery ticket sales. Because of this, the minimum starting jackpot for the Powerball has been reduced to $20 million. And when the jackpot isn't won, it now only needs to increase by $2 million.
Mega Millions is a lottery game that's played in the US Virgin Islands, the District of Columbia, and 45 states. The first Mega Millions game was drawn in 2002 and was only offered in six states.
Mega Millions is drawn on Friday and Tuesday evenings at 11 pm Eastern Time, including holidays. The drawings are supervised by the Georgia Lottery and held in Atlanta, Georgia at the studios of WSB-TV.
As with Powerball, the minimum jackpot is $40 million. If you win the jackpot, you can choose to be paid in thirty graduated annual installments. Those installments will increase in value by 5% each year.
When there's no jackpot winner, the prize is increased.
With Mega Millions, players need to match 5 of 70 white balls as well as a gold "MegaBall" from a different field of 25 numbers. Each game costs $2 to play.
If you live in Massachusetts, you can also add Megaplier. For an extra dollar, the Megaplier will multiply your non-jackpot prizes.
In 2018, one ticket in South Carolina claimed a Mega Millions jackpot of $1.537 billion. This was the largest jackpot ever for Mega Millions and the largest lottery jackpot win ever for a single ticket.
Mega Millions Rules
The easiest way to play Mega Millions is with Quick Pick. Ask your clerk for a Quick Pick and the machine will randomly select numbers for you.
If you want, you can grab a Mega Millions play slip and pick your own numbers. Either way, it will cost you $2 to play.
If you pick the numbers yourself, then you want to choose five numbers between 1 and 70. Find those numbers in the pink section of the slip and fill them in with a blue or black pen. You can use a pencil too if you want.
Then, select your Mega Ball number. This will be a number between 1 and 25. Fill in the number on the white section of your slip.
When you're done, give your completed play slip back to the clerk and receive your Mega Millions ticket in return.
Lucky for Life
Lucky for Life is a lottery game that is available in the District of Columbia as well as 25 states. The game started in Connecticut in 2009 and then expanded to the rest of New England before adding many more jurisdictions.
The drawings for Lucky for Life are held in Connecticut. The drawings are done at 10:40 pm Eastern Time on Thursdays and Mondays. They use numbered balls and two drawing machines.
Like the other games in this article, it costs $2 to play Lucky for Life.
Lucky for Life Rules
There are two easy ways to play Lucky for Life. The first way is to let the lottery machine pick the numbers for you. All you have to do is ask the clerk for a Lucky for Life Easy Pick and your numbers will be selected at random.
If you want, you can also choose your own numbers. In order to do that, you'll need a Lucky for Life play slip.
Now, you have to pick five numbers from 1 to 48. Just use a pencil and fill in your numbers. Next, mark one Lucky Ball number between 1 and 18.
If you want, you can play the same numbers for more than one drawing, up to ten consecutive drawings. This is known as multi-draw and it works for Easy Picks as well as when you pick your own numbers. All you have to do is tell the clerk how many draws you'd like or just mark it on your play slip.
Remember, it will cost you $2 per play. So one set of numbers for the next ten drawings will cost you $20.
Now that your play slip is ready, just hand it back to the clerk and receive your Lucky for Life ticket in return.
Lucky for Life Winnings
If you match all five numbers and the Lucky Ball number, you'll win $1,000 a day for life.
There are other cash prizes too. If you match five numbers without the Lucky Ball, you'll win $25,000 a year for life.
You can also win cash by matching four numbers plus the Lucky Ball, only matching four numbers, matching only three numbers, and so on. You'll even win money just for matching the Lucky Ball number by itself.
As with other lottery games, you want to make sure that you sign the back of the lottery ticket so that everyone knows it's yours. Keep that ticket in a safe place since you'll need it in order to claim any prizes you might win - no exceptions.
The Importance of Knowing the Mega Millions, Lucky for Life, and Powerball Rules for Massachusetts Lottery
Playing the lottery can be a lot of fun. For most people, it's a daily or weekly activity that they play for years on end. The hope that the Massachusetts lottery gives to people is sometimes enough to help them get through tough times.
But in the end, we all dream about winning. Of course, there's nothing worse than having a nearly perfect lottery ticket and then realizing that you messed up somewhere along the way. But by knowing Mega Millions, Lucky for Life, and Powerball Rules, you can make sure that you'll know exactly what you're doing.
Are you interested in playing the best jackpot games on the web? Check out the rest of our site and see which games pique your interest!