In California, prize levels are paid on a parimutuel basis, rather than the fixed lower-tier amounts for winners in other Mega Millions jurisdictions. California's eight lower-tier Mega Millions prize pools are separate from those shared by the other 45 lotteries. California's second prize is a "secondary jackpot"; its payout sometimes exceeds $1 million cash, even though California does not offer the Megaplier.
^ Jump up to: a b Prizes are uniform in all Mega Millions jurisdictions, with the exception of California (where all prizes, including the jackpot, are pari-mutuel; payouts are based on sales and the number of winners of each prize tier.) All other Mega Millions members' second through ninth prizes are set amounts, although in rare cases they can be reduced.
The other option is to buy single tickets and play alone. Pick your own numbers, play your own tickets and if you win, you win it all! In this scenario, it is advisable to buy lottery tickets online at least 24 hours before the draw will take place. The reason behind this is because in the single ticket scenario, you want to leave enough time for the agents to go to their local store, purchase your ticket, scan your ticket and upload your ticket into your account. If you purchase your Powerball tickets online at the last minute, some online lottery ticket providers will process your payment and if they can’t buy a ticket in time for the draw you wanted, your ticket will be purchased for the following draw. Bear in mind that the nature of a global online lottery with agents scattered around the world is that everyone is working on different time zones. To be sure that your ticket is purchased for the lottery draw you want, ensure that you don’t buy your lottery tickets online at the last minute. This is something that all online lottery players should be aware of as jackpots and odds can change from draw to draw. You need to know that if you are buying Powerball tickets online, which draw your tickets will be entered into.
Having initially played 'little sister' to Mega Millions, changes made to Powerball in January 2012 and October 2015 meant that the Powerball lottery now consistently awards the biggest lottery jackpots in the world. In the year after the 2012 changes just under one in two (actual amount: 50 out of 104) Powerball draw jackpots were more than $100,000,000.
*a tip to know whether the website you are looking at actually buys lottery tickets online or follows the insurance model is to check the wording that they use. If you see the words “Play” then you can be confident it is a company that has agents and buys your tickets physically, if you see the words “Bet” you can be sure it is following the insurance model and you are placing a bet on the outcome of a lottery.