The tenth biggest prize in Mega Millions history is in play Friday

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There’s a monstrous jackpot at stake for the Mega Millions draw on Friday July 15th.

According to the Michigan Lottery, if someone matches all the numbers in Friday night’s draw, they could win $480 million, topping the $426 million jackpot won earlier this year by a California resident.

The last time the Mega Millions jackpot was won was in April 2022 when a player from Tennessee won $20 million.

Mega Millions draws take place every Tuesday and Friday evening. The $2 game is sold in 45 different states across the United States, as well as Washington DC and the US Virgin Islands.


The near-national Mega Millions jackpot swelled again on July 13 after no ticket matched all six numbers on Tuesday night. Although no jackpot was won, Tuesday night’s draw yielded nearly 1.2 million winning tickets with prizes ranging from $2 million to $1 million, according to the Mega Millions website. The million dollar match-five ticket was sold in Illinois.

Now in the tenth biggest prize in Mega Millions’ 20-year history, the $480 Friday night jackpot has the potential to make someone very rich.

The best Mega Millions jackpots to date:

  1. $1.537 billion, won in South Carolina on October 23, 2018
  2. $1.050 billion, won in Michigan on January 22, 2021
  3. $656 million, won in Illinois, Kansas and Maryland on March 30, 2012
  4. $648 million, won in California and Georgia on December 17, 2013
  5. $543 million, won in California on July 24, 2018
  6. $536 million, won in Indiana on July 8, 2016
  7. $533 million, won in New Jersey on March 30, 2018
  8. $522 million, won in California on June 7, 2019
  9. $516 million, won in Pennsylvania on May 21, 2021
  10. $480 million up for grabs on Friday night

What to do if you win:

There are several steps someone must take if they win the lottery before claiming their prize. According to Forbes, the first step should be to sign the back of the lotto ticket.

“Be sure to sign your winning lottery ticket,” the Forbes article read. “It’s not as simple as choosing the winning numbers. Why? You can lose your ticket between the time you bought the ticket and there is no record that you bought the winning ticket. A ticket of lottery is considered a bearer instrument, which means whoever signs the ticket can claim the lottery prize, so don’t become the subject of a made-for-TV movie and forget to sign your winning lottery ticket .

Unfortunately, due to the next step, it may be necessary to wait to sign this ticket and lock it in a safe place until you speak to an expert.

Also, be sure to remain anonymous, if possible.

While some states allow you to protect your identity, others do not. It is therefore important to research and determine what the law is and whether anonymity is allowed for a price of this caliber. In some states, it is possible to claim winnings through a limited liability company or trust, which could provide additional anonymity. The best way to assess this is to hire a lawyer or financial planner.

After determining the best way to claim the winnings, the winner (or winners) will need to decide whether to claim the lump sum cash payment or the annual payments.

With the Mega Millions, while the jackpot is estimated at $440 million, the lump sum is much less. Meanwhile, an alternative is to choose the annual payout option, which spreads out the winnings and nets you the total jackpot amount. However, most experts suggest taking the lump sum option and investing your earnings, which should ultimately yield a bigger return.

Next, if you haven’t already, it’s important to hire a reputable financial advisor. According to Forbes, hiring an advisor can help protect your new assets.

“Along with your lottery jackpot winnings, one of the best ways to protect yourself against financial loss is to hire a team that can help you preserve and grow your newfound wealth,” reads the article from Forbes. “A team of reputable experts can help you manage your investments, guide your philanthropic interests and achieve other financial goals. Be sure to vet anyone you hire, as you are likely to be approached by hordes of advisors looking for guidance.Most importantly, be sure to sign your own checks so you know exactly where your money is going.

Finally, after securing your future, it is a good idea to amortize your past by paying off your debts. While it can be beneficial to use your money to earn higher returns on your investments, who really wants to deal with old debts and try to remember to make those payments?

The National Council on Problem Gambling operates the National Problem Gambling Helpline Network (1-800-522-4700). The network is a single national access point to local resources for those seeking help with a gambling problem. The network consists of 28 call centers that provide resources and referrals for all 50 states, the Canada and the US Virgin Islands. Help is available 24/7 and is 100% confidential.

The National Problem Gambling Helpline Network also includes text messaging and chat services. These features allow those who play online or on their mobile phone to access help the same way they play. One call, text or chat will get you problem gambling help anywhere in the United States 24/7/365.

Help is also available through an online peer support forum at www.gamtalk.org.

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