Global lottery comes to Kenya with Sh230bn jackpot

Mega Millions is one of the biggest lottery in the world

In Summary
  • The prize claim period is 180 days from the drawing date. The decision of which option to choose is a personal one. 
  • Winners are not known until prizes are claimed and tickets are validated.
A man celebrates a financial windfall
A man celebrates a financial windfall

Kenyans can now participate in the global lottery that recently saw a participant win a record $1.6 billion (Sh230 billion) jackpot. 

Mega Millions, A US based lottery  called on local gaming enthusiasts to take advantage of the opportunity to share in the global cake.  

The game utilises a format where players select five numbers from a pool of 1 to 70 and an additional Mega Ball number from a pool of 1 to 25.

To win the jackpot, a player must match all six numbers drawn. As a result of this challenging structure, the jackpots often roll over, accumulating into staggering sums that seize global attention. 

Last week, the Mega Millions jackpot hit an incredible $1.6 billion, the largest jackpot in the history of the game. 

After 31 draws with no win, a single quick pick ticket sold at Publix in Neptune Beach, Florida, on, won the jackpot. 

The winning numbers were 13-19-20-32-33; the Mega Ball was 14 and the Megaplier 2x.

Winners are not known until prizes are claimed and tickets are validated, so many remain unknown. Even the retailer who sold the winning ticket will receive a $100,000 bonus commission.

The jackpot winner has two options for receiving their winnings: a one-time, lump sum payment of $783.3 million, or 30 annual installments. 

The lump sum option is the amount of the jackpot immediately, minus taxes. The annuity option pays out the jackpot in 30 annual payments, with the first payment being made one year after the win. 

The prize claim period is 180 days from the drawing date. The decision of which option to choose is a personal one. 

The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are 1 in 302.5 million. In addition to the main jackpot, there are also several smaller prizes that can be won in Mega Millions.

These prizes range from $2 to $1 million. The odds of winning a smaller prize are much better than the odds of winning the jackpot.

For example, the odds of winning $2 are 1 in 37. In addition to the one lucky winner who took home the jackpot, there were many other people who won $1 million in prizes across the United States.

The Mega Millions jackpot is not the only lottery jackpot that has reached record-breaking levels in recent years. The Powerball jackpot also hit $2,040 billion in November 8,2022.

Mega Millions' largest jackpots represent more than just financial abundance; they sum up the universal hope for a better life and the thrill of taking a chance against incredible odds. 

"These jackpots transcend borders and languages, uniting people in the shared experience of imagining what life could be like with an enormous windfall,'' the lottery firm said in a statement. 

Billion-dollar jackpots are rare: There have only been eight since both lotteries were established in the 1990s.

However, since 2015, both national lotteries have increased the odds of winning, which has resulted in larger jackpots. That’s why all the record-setting jackpots have been won in the past seven years.

Here’s a look at the all-time highest jackpots:

$2.04 billion Powerball jackpot — Nov. 7, 2022 

$1.586 billion Powerball jackpot — Jan. 13, 2016,

$1.537 billion Mega Millions jackpot — Oct. 23, 2018

$1.35 billion Mega Millions jackpot — Aug. 4, 2023 

$1.348 billion Mega Millions jackpot — Jan. 13, 2023 

$1.337 billion Mega Millions jackpot — July 29, 2022 

$1.08 billion Powerball jackpot — July 19, 2023 

$1.05 billion Mega Millions jackpot — Jan. 22, 2021 

$768.4 million Powerball jackpot — March 27, 2019 

$758.7 million Powerball jackpot — Aug. 23, 2017.

The Kenyan government is inching closer to having the first-ever National Lottery following the publication of two Bills and a policy which are the precursors towards its launch.

The Presidential Taskforce on the establishment of the Lottery is currently collecting views from the public on the draft National Lottery Bill (2023) and Gambling Control Bill (2023).

Those in Kenya can now participate in Mega Millions, Powerball and various international lotteries via as long as one has  a credit card.

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