Mega Millions Lottery

Mega Millions is one of the two most popular multi-state lotteries played in the US. Launched in 1996, it was initially known as the Big Game and played in just six states. Following a relaunch in 2002 when the lottery was rebranded as Mega Millions, other states joined in and today it caters for players in 45 states, plus Washington D.C and the U.S. Virgin Islands.


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How to Play Mega Millions

There are two Mega Millions draws each week, on Tuesday and Friday evenings. Jackpots start from $40 million and players have to select five main numbers between 1 and 70 and one Mega Ball number from 1 to 25.

The Mega Millions jackpot is won by the player who correctly matches all five main numbers plus the Mega Ball number. The odds of achieving this are around 1 in 302 million, but there are also eight additional prize tiers. Players can win by just matching the Mega Ball number, making the overall odds of winning a Mega Millions prize 1 in 24.

Match

Odds of Winning

Prize

5 main numbers + Mega

1 in 302,575,350

Jackpot

Match 5

1 in 12,607,306

$1 million

Match 4 and Mega

1 in 931,001

$10,000

Match 4

1 in 38,791

$500

Match 3 and Mega

1 in 14,546

$200

Match 3

1 in 606

$10

Match 2 and Mega

1 in 693

$10

1 main number + Mega

1 in 89

$4

Mega only

1 in 36

$2


Players in some states can also choose to play the Megaplier for an additional fee and this exciting side-game multiplies winnings in non-jackpot prize tiers by a factor of between two and five. The multiplication bonus depends on which Megaplier ball – between 2 and 5 – is randomly selected.

Another type of wager available in some states is Just the Jackpot, where players can enter two lines for $3 (instead of $2 per line) for the chance to win the top prize. However, they are not eligible to receive any other prizes.

Big Mega Milions Winners

If the jackpot is not won in a particular draw then the top prize amount is rolled over and added to the Mega Millions jackpot for the next draw. Successive rollovers have led to some huge jackpots tallying up; in March 2012, a record-shattering $656 million was won by three lucky Mega Millions winners, who shared what was the largest lottery prize in the world at the time.

Currently, the biggest Mega Millions jackpot won on a single ticket is $1.5 billion, which was won by an anonymous player from South Carolina in 2018.