Tuesday’s Mega Millions $1.6 billion jackpot largest in lottery history

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The jackpot for Tuesday’s drawing of the lottery’s Mega Millions game is up to a record-breaking $1.6 billion.

According to Lottery Spokesperson Christian Teja, the jackpot is the largest one in lottery history and has an estimated cash prize of $904 million.

Teja said the jackpot passed the previous record set in January 2016 when the Powerball’s prize of $1.596 billion.

If you’re the only person holding a winning Mega Millions ticket after Tuesday’s drawing, There are two ways to collect the $1.6 billion jackpot. That ticket holder could take 30 annual payments of $50 million, pre-tax.

You also have the lump-sum cash option of a single payment of $904 million, but not really. The federal government would take $232,500,000 right off the top, and the state would take an additional $46,500,000, leaving the winner with just over $650 million in cash after taxes.

If someone won it in Massachusetts, the Department of Revenue collects the money, which then goes into the general fund, where it then is transferred to cities and towns, in the form of local aid. 

Local aid pays for a variety of things.

“Senior centers and programs, to purchasing firetrucks or hiring teachers, filling potholes, removing snow during the winter, it really comes down to local decision making,” said Michael Sweeney, Executive Director of the Massachusetts State Lottery.

22News contacted Springfield City Hall to see how they spend lottery tax revenue and Mayor Domenic Sarno said it goes to schools, police and fire departments, and directly benefits all of the city’s neighborhoods.

Massachusetts is on the lower end of lottery taxes, taking only 5 percent, while New York, New Jersey and Maryland take more than 8 percent from each lottery winner. 

Tuesday’s drawing will be the 26th since the jackpot was last hit in July when a group of 11 co-workers in California won $543 million.

Tickets are $2 and can be purchased until 10:45 p.m. Tuesday night. The winning Mega Millions numbers will be drawn Tuesday night at 11 p.m.

The lottery’s Powerball game also has a large check, with a jackpot of $620 million. The game has an estimated cash prize of $354.3 million and is the third-largest Powerball jackpot.

Powerball tickets can also be bought for $2, but can only be bought until 9:50 p.m. Wednesday evening.

The winning Powerball numbers will be announced at 10:59 p.m. Wednesday.

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