mega millions

What to Know About the $1.28 Billion Mega Millions in CT Drawing Tonight

NBC Universal, Inc.

Imagine for a second what winning $1.28 billion would be like.

The Mega Millions jackpot for tonight’s drawing is now the second largest Mega Millions prize in the game’s 20-year history. The cash value is $747.2 million.

The drawing is at 11 p.m. Friday.

Should you beat the odds, which are around 1 in 302.5 million, and chose the cash option, the 24% federal withholding tax would be $179.3 million, CNBC reports.

Then, there are state taxes.

The CT Lottery said it is required by law to withhold Connecticut state income tax, which is currently 6.99%, on all gambling winnings that are either subject to federal withholding tax -- proceeds more than $5,000 -- or reportable for federal tax purposes -- $600 or more and at least 300 times the amount of the wager.

Connecticut state income tax is required on all CT Lottery winnings regardless of state residency.

The CT Lottery says draw game prizes expire and must be claimed within 180 calendar days from the date of the drawing.

CNBC advises that you pause before racing to claim your prize.

Then, CNBC urges you to protect your ticket and says that you might be able to claim the prize “in the name of a trust or other legal entity” in states that require the name of the winner to be public.

And, get professional help.  

When Is the Next Mega Millions Drawing?

The Mega Millions drawing is Friday at 11 p.m. Wagering closes at 10:45 p.m. Find a lottery retailer near you here.

Mega Millions Payouts

Annuity option: The Mega Millions annuity is paid out as one immediate payment followed by 29 annual payments. Mega Millions says each payment is 5% bigger than the previous one.

Cash option: A one-time, lump-sum payment.

Claiming the Prize

If your winning ticket is $50,000, you must claim it in person at CT Lottery Headquarters. 

CT Lottery Headquarters will accept claims between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.  Winners must provide two valid forms of signed identification, one of which must be a photo ID.

CT Lottery Headquarters is located at 777 Brook St. in Rocky Hill.

Odds of Winning Mega Millions

Eventually, someone needs to win, but here’s a look at the odds.

  • Jackpot: 1 in 302,575,350
  • $1 million (5 balls): 1 in 12,607,306
  • $10,000 (4 balls and the Mega Ball): 1 in 931,001
  • $500 (4 balls): 1 in 38,792
  • $200 (3 balls and the Mega Ball): 1 in 14,547
  • $10 (3 balls): 1 in 606
  • $10 (2 balls and the Mega Ball): 1 in 693
  • $4 (1 ball and the Mega Ball): 1 in 89
  • $2 (Mega Ball): 1 in 37
  • Overall chances of winning any prize: 1 in 24

Big Jackpots

  • $1.586 billion Powerball – Jan. 13, 2016 – CA, FL, TN
  • $1.537 billion Mega Millions - Oct. 23, 2018 - 1 ticket sold in SC
  • $1.050 billion Mega Millions - Jan. 22. 2021 - 1 ticket sold in MI

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