Similar to Powerball, Mega Millions is also a multi-state lottery in the US. The lottery is played in all states with the exception of six, as well as the Virgin Islands and Washington, DC. Every Mega Millions lottery jackpot begins at $40 million and every drawing that doesn’t have a jackpot winner simply increases it with $5 million.
History of Mega Millions Lottery
In August 1996, the Mega Millions lottery was introduced under the name ‘The Big Game’. Initially, only six states chose to participate, but the lottery grew in popularity rather rapidly and now 44 states are participants. There has been a name change twice, first in 2002 when it became ‘The Big Game Mega Millions’ and then in 2005 when it finally got its current name, ‘Mega Millions’. There was a change in the lottery’s structure in October, 2017, which makes it harder for players to win the jackpot, but easier to take home a million-dollar prize.
With this change, there will also be larger jackpots and the size of the starting jackpot would also increase three times. Five years earlier, a similar redesign was made to the lottery in October, 2012. The changes made in 2017 to Mega Millions include a change in price from $1 per ticket to $2, reducing the number of white balls from 75 to 70 and choosing the Mega Ball from 25 numbers instead of 15. The starting jackpot was also increased to $40 million from $15 million. Another addition that was made was the introduction of a ‘Just the Jackpot’ option ticket and there was also an increase in the non-jackpot payouts.
With these changes, Mega Millions came directly in line with the Powerball lottery, which has attracted a lot of attention due to its massive jackpots. On March 30, 2012, a jackpot of $656 million allowed the Mega Millions lottery to break the record for the largest lottery jackpot in the United States. Since then, the record has been broken by two Powerball jackpots. The first was awarded on January 13, 2016 worth $1,586.4 billion and the second awarded on August 23, 2017 worth $758.7 million. Currently, Mega Millions has the record for the third and fourth largest jackpots in the US.
How to Play Mega Millions
In order to participate in the Mega Millions lottery, you have to choose five numbers between 1 and 70 and one additional number in the range of 1 and 25. The additional number is called the ‘Mega Ball’. You don’t have to select the first five numbers in any specific order. You can buy a ticket for $2 and then also take advantage of the ‘Megaplier’ option where you have to pay $1 extra for multiplying any prize you win by two, three, four and five, with the exception of the jackpot.
You can buy your Mega Millions lottery ticket online at lottosend.com/megamillions and select your own lottery numbers or let their quick pick lucky dip option select the numbers for you.
How do you Win the Mega Millions Lottery
The Mega Millions draw is made from two drums, one that contains 70 balls and one that contains 25 balls. The first drum is used for drawing the five numbers and the second drum is for the Mega Ball. Then, a seventh number is drawn from 2 to 5 for deciding the level of the Megaplier. You win the jackpot if the five numbers drawn from the first drum match the five you have selected and your Mega Ball matches the one drawn from the second drum. Matching a fewer number of balls can also win you a prize.
Mega Millions Payouts
- With five numbers and the Mega Ball, you take home the rolling jackpot. For tomorrow’s draw, it is worth $377 million.
- With five numbers without the Mega Ball, you can win $1,000,000.
- With 4 numbers and the Mega Ball, you win $5,000.
- With 4 numbers without the Mega Ball, you win $500.
- With 3 numbers and the Mega Ball, you win $50.
- With 3 numbers without the Mega Ball, you win $5.
- With 2 numbers and the Mega Ball, you win $5.
- With 1 number and the Mega Ball, you win $2.
- With Only the Mega Ball, you win $1.
Other than the jackpot, all the prizes are multiplied by the Megaplier value if you have purchased that option with your ticket.
Odds of Winning the Mega Millions Lottery
· 5 numbers and the Mega Ball (Jackpot): Odds are 1 in 302,575,350.
· 5 numbers without the Mega Ball: Odds are 1 in 12,607,306.
· 4 numbers and the Mega ball: Odds are in 1 in 931,001.
· 4 numbers without the Mega Ball: Odds are in 1 in 38,792.
· 3 numbers and the Mega Ball: Odds are 1 in 14,547.
· 3 numbers without the Mega Ball: Odds are 1 in 606.
· 2 numbers and the Mega Ball: Odds are 1 in 693.
· 1 number and the Mega Ball: Odds are 1 in 89.
· Only the Mega Ball: Odds are 1 in 37.
· The overall odds of you winning any prize are 1 in 24.
How to Find out If you Have Won the Jackpot
The Mega Millions draws are conducted every Tuesday and Fridays, which means one is scheduled for tomorrow. You can buy tickets at Lottosend and that saves you from having to wait for the draw’s announcement as they will notify you automatically if you win. If your prize is higher than $600, it has to be collected and Lottsend representatives can do that on your behalf if that’s what you want.
If you win the $377 million jackpot, you can take the option of lump-sum payout, which means you receive the payment at once and have to pay taxes on it. There is also the annuity option where you can your money in instalments and pay taxes accordingly. You can take advantage of the group game option at Lottosend.com to increase your odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot.