Winning the lottery is not something that happens to someone on a daily basis, in fact, many people do not get to win through out their lifetimes. A lottery ticket holder in South Caroline has just got very lucky, the ticket holder has won the largest jackpot in the history of United States of America.

The anonymous winner will have the choice of collecting an immediate cash payment of $904 million or the full price over a 29-year period.

How did this happen? This is one question many people have been asking for some days now and to answer this question, we need to take a look at the history of MegaMillions and the lottery works.

MegaMillions lottery is like other lottery games which does not require any serious mastery before you can play. The US MegaMillions began in August 31, 1996 as the Big Game,the first draw took place on September 6, 1996, with just six states including;Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Virginia, Maryland and Massachusetts. After a spontaneous growth in 1997, they decided to add a Tuesday drawing in February 1998. In 1999 players were given a robust offer by giving them a larger choice of numbers and a “cash out or pay out” option. It was also in 1999 that MegaMillions became the first jackpot game to offer second-tier prizes up to $5 million in 2013 when it relaunched with a new Matrix.

Flashback to May 2002, the lottery game was rechristened and given the name “MegaMillions” and Ohio and New York became members. The game matrix and prize amount were modified in other to provide players with more fun and excitement.Washington was added to member states in 2002 and Texas follow suit in in 2003.California was added in 2009 making Mega Millions the country most played multi-state lottery.

In January 2010, 23 more states became members of Mega Millions when a cross selling between Power Balls – a rival lottery game and Mega millions became effective.With more lotteries joining since then, Mega Millions has become a widely played game in over 45 states. With the arrival of internet, Mega Millions has gone offshore, many players from other parts of the world are now rising on a daily basis.

History was made in 2012 when Mega Millions set out the then largest prize in any jackpot game; $656 million. There were three tickets that won and the jackpot was split among the three winning tickets from Maryland, Kansas and Illinois. This record was only broken in January 2016 when a Power Ball jackpot set a new record.  

In 2017, Megamillions made history by offering only the jackpot play option, this option made it possible for players to purchase two options to win the jackpot for just $3, although, this option is very exciting, it doesn’t allow players to have access to prize levels.

To play MegaMillions, all you have to do is to pick five numbers from a pool of 70, pick a mega ball from a pool of 25. To win the jackpot, you are expected to match the five MegaMillions number and the mega ball for the draw. The US MegaMillions draw takes place every week on Tuesday and Friday, this is when players will be able to confirm if their number was drawn or not. The MegaMillions websites, Newspaper and Television are also great ways to confirm your luck.

The anonymous player from California who won the latest jackpot played same way many people have been playing over the years, the only difference is that he was lucky to win while many have been unlucky.

The single ticket bought by this winner has made him very rich, the ticket matched all five numbers which were 5,28,62,65 and 70. This win will place the winner, groups, syndicate as the case maybe in 1,477th spot on Forbes Billionaire list. So, the anonymous winner will have the same net worth with the likes of well known former NBA basketball star Michael Jordan and Ben Silbermann, Co-founder and Chief executive of Pinterest.

In the words of Gordon Medenica, Lead director of Mega Millions “The moment we have all been waiting for is finally here and we couldn’t be less excited, this is indeed an historic occasion. We are so happy for the winner, and we know that the South Carolina Education lottery can’t wait to meet the lucky winner. Since South Carolina is among the eight nations where you are allowed to keep your profile anonymous after winning a lottery, we may never know the true identity of the winner.

The option given to the winner is either to take $904 million or collect the payment on installment for the next 29 years, many financier advisers have begun to deliberate on which offer is best for the lottery winner. To debate on this, we have to consider so many factors like the location of the winner, the cost of living, daily expense, changes in federal taxes, investment return rates etc.if the winner thinks the US top tax rate will drop overtime, he or she should go for the installment option, also if he or she knows that spending flamboyantly is his or her habits, it is better to pick the installment payment option. Over the years, we have heard rumors of lottery winners who end up in quagmire of poverty simply because they decided to get the full cash at once instead of the installment option. It is only when a lottery winner has got the ability and knowledge of investing the huge cash properly that he or she should take the first option.

The previous Mega Million jackpot winners won $656 million dollars in 2012 and the prize was shared equally within the three sperate winners. Right now, we do not know the identity of this year winner but we are certain the prize will not be split.

Other Jackpot winners include three ticket holders from California, Florida, and Tennessee who won $1.58 billion PowerBall Jackpot in 2016. Another jackpot was won in 2017 by mother-of-two Mavis Wanczyk from Massachusetts who won a whopping sum of $758.7 million. Several winners also emerged later.

The anonymous winner will have the choice of collecting an immediate cash payment of $904 million or the full price over a 29-year period.Many people have since been lining up in front at service stations and stores all over the country to get their own ticket and a chance to become the next mega winner. Many of them could be seen speculating on what they would do if they are lucky enough to win the cash. Some are already planning to buy an Island, fast cars, luxury homes, opening shops and setting up new business.

Apart from the jackpot, other prizes were won last Tuesday. 36 people were able to win second prize, and 419 people got to win $10000 third place prize.

What chance do you have of winning if you buy the ticket today?

According to a Statistician Anthony Masters, the probability of winning the MegaMillions Jackpot is one in 300 million. It is less likely for you to win a MegaMillions Jackpots than it is likely for two people to randomly dial the same eight-digit phone number.

The lottery tickets are very cheap and easy to purchase so, you can get one today. Who knows if today will be your lucky day?