The Mega Millions jackpot has been revised upward to a whopping $1 billion — at least partly due to year-old changes to the game that have resulted in worse odds and less frequent payouts.
For Mega Millions, your chance of winning is 1 in 302.6 million. Prior to last October, it was 1 in 258.9 million. For Powerball, it's 1 in 292 million. The chance of winning both is at least 1 in 88 quadrillion (that's 88 followed by 15 zeros).
Mega Millions has existed in some form since 1996. Lottery officials who run the game tweaked the rules and odds in October 2017 to make jackpots pay out less frequently, spurring their monster growth, according to published reports. Since that change, three of the six largest Mega Millions jackpots have been paid out.
If you're among those daydreaming about beating the odds, you should consider how you'd keep your sudden windfall under wraps. While a winner's instinct might be to shout from the rooftops, experts say that one of the best ways to protect your newfound wealth is to avoid letting too many people know about it.
Unfortunately, that isn't always easy. While some states allow winners to remain anonymous, others do not. And in some states, as long as you plan ahead, you can create a trust or other legal entity to receive your winnings as a way to avoid your name being attached to the money. This makes it important to know your options before doing much of anything.
State laws against anonymity can help maintain the transparency of lottery wins. For the winner, however, coming forward can be stressful.