For the eighth time — and the second time in less than a month — a U.S. lottery jackpot has entered the billion-with-a-“b” territory.
Tuesday night’s Mega Millions drawing had a top prize of $1.1 billion, just edging the $1.08 billion winning Powerball ticket from July 19.
The winning numbers were 8-24-30-45-61, with the Mega Ball being 12.
Going into Tuesday’s game, it had been more than three months and 29 drawings since the last Mega Millions jackpot, which was won April 18.
If taken in a single massive payment, as most recent big lottery winners have chosen to do, Tuesday’s $1.1 billion prize would be worth $550.2 million. The larger, advertised amount is what the other option — a 29-year annuity — would be worth over its lifetime.
Federal taxes would quickly take almost 40% of that amount, with state taxes a possibility on top of that.
The $2 Mega Millions tickets are sold in 45 states, along with the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The five states on the outside are Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada and Utah.
The odds of a winning Mega Millions ticket are 1 in 302.5 million.
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