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Mega Millions Craze hits Long Island

Ryan Pagano, Staff Writer

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This past October, lottery fever was struck throughout the country as the Mega Millions jackpot was up to a whopping $1.6 billion. Many Americans flocked to their local supermarkets and convenience stores to get their hands on a ticket that could turn into the grand prize.

While the winning ticket was sold in South Carolina, a handful of Americans held second place tickets worth $1 million. In particular, one of the tickets was sold right here on Long Island, at a 7 Eleven in Hauppauge. That is not a bad consolation prize at all, considering that those who were one number away from the grand prize still went home with some money.

Lottery drawings such as Mega Millions can be quite difficult at times, as many can be confused as to how these drawings work. To put it simply, Mega Millions is very similar to Powerball. In both games, participants pick five numbers in addition to the final number, which acts as a tiebreaker to the grand prize. The rules of the drawings can vary depending on which participating state a winner resides in, but playing Mega Millions is simple.

Participants pick five numbers between 1-70 in addition to a number between 1-25. That final number is the Mega Ball. If picking numbers is too stressful, there is always an option for a computer to automatically generate these numbers. In order to win the jackpot, a participant must match all five winning numbers in no particular order and the Mega Ball. If all numbers are matched except for the Mega Ball, participants receive $1 million.

The winner of the grand prize has the luxury of choosing how he or she prefers to be paid. An option is to take the cash value in one payment. Many winners choose this option, as they get all the winnings immediately. Another option is annuity, which means that the payment is spread out across a span of around 30 years and the winner receives a certain amount per year.

The Mega Millions jackpot this past October was one of the biggest ones to date. It will be a while before the jackpot reaches 10 digits again, but nonetheless, it can’t hurt to take a chance and play. After all, “you have to be in it to win it.”

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Mega Millions Craze hits Long Island