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Mega Millions is a US multi-jurisdictional lottery game. Since it replaced The Big Game in May 2002 , Mega Millions' advertised jackpots have started at $12 million, paid in 26 yearly installments (unless the cash option is chosen), increasing when there is no jackpot winner. Reflecting common practice among American lotteries, the jackpot is advertised as a nominal value of annual installments. A cash value option, when chosen by a jackpot winner , pays the approximate present value of the installments. Mega Millions currently uses a 5/56 (white balls) + 1/46 (the Mega Ball) double matrix to select its winning numbers. Each game costs players $1; in most of the 42 Mega Millions jurisdictions, players may opt to pay an extra $1 per game to multiply their non-jackpot prizes by 2, 3, or 4 with the Megaplier. (The Megaplier was made available to all Mega Millions players in January 2011; it began as a Texas-only option.) Mega Millions is drawn at 11pm Eastern time Tuesdays and Fridays, including holidays. The drawings usually are held in Atlanta, Georgia. Mega Millions' second largest annuity jackpot ($380 million), and largest cash jackpot ($240 million), was for the January 4, 2011 drawing; two tickets, one each from Post Falls, Idaho, and Ephrata, Washington, matched all six winning numbers, winning $190 million (annuity) each. The holders of each ticket chose the cash option (WikiPedia).
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