# Mega Millions: Official Guide, Rules, Odds & How to Play

**Number of balls to pick:**5 main numbers 1 to 70 and 1 Mega Ball 1 to 25

**Odds to win the jackpot:**1 in 302,575,350

**Mega Millions draws:**every Tuesday and Friday at 23:00 ET

**Ticket cost:**$2.00

## What is Mega Millions lottery?

Mega Millions (previously known as The Big Game) is one of the most popular American multi-state lotteries. It is currently played in 45 US states. The first Mega Millions draw took place in 2002.

Mega Millions drawings are held every Tuesday and Friday at 11:00 pm ET. Tickets cost $2.00 per play.

## How to play Mega Millions lottery?

Players may pick six numbers from two separate pools of numbers - five different numbers (white balls) from 1 to 70 and one number (yellow ball) from 1 to 25. You win the jackpot by matching all six winning numbers in a drawing.

The jackpots start at $15 million and grow by a minimum of $5 million per draw each time the jackpot rolls.

## Odds to win Mega Millions jackpot

**Mega Millions has currently the highest odds to win the jackpot in the world making it the most difficult lottery to win!**

Winning selections | Odds | Prize |
---|---|---|

Match 5 numbers + megaball | 1 in 302,575,350 | Jackpot! |

Match 5 main numbers | 1 in 12,607,306 | $1,000,000 |

Match 4 numbers + megaball | 1 in 931,001 | $10,000 |

Match 4 main numbers | 1 in 38,792 | $500 |

Match 3 numbers + megaball | 1 in 14,547 | $200 |

Match 3 main numbers | 1 in 606 | $10 |

Match 2 numbers + megaball | 1 in 693 | $10 |

Match 1 number + megaball | 1 in 89 | $4 |

Match the megaball | 1 in 37 | $2 |

As you can see, the odds of winning Mega Millions jackpot are not great! You are more likely to be struck by lightning than to win Mega Millions lottery!

### Mega Millions Odds Calculations

If you ever wondered, why are the odds so sky-high, let's have a look at how exactly are they being calculated.

In every Mega Millions drawing, 5 white balls are drawn together with a single yellow ball, making it a total of 6 balls.

#### Main Balls Odds

There are 70 numbers to be picked from the total pool of the main balls. None of the balls can repeat. To find out how many possibilities are there to pick 5 balls from the pool of 70 balls, we can use this simple combinatorics formula:

**(70 * 69 * 68 * 67 * 66) / (5 * 4 * 3 * 2 * 1) = 12,103,014**

That means there are over 12 million ways to pick 5 numbers from the total pool of 70 numbers without repeating.

#### Bonus Balls Odds

Now we need to add Bonus ball odds.

There are 25 numbers to be picked from the total pool of the bonus balls. None of the balls can repeat. And we need to pick only 1 ball.

This is pretty simple, it's **25 ways** to pick 25 balls if you pick only one ball.

#### Overall Odds To Win Mega Millions

To add this all together, we need to multiply both calculations.

**Total odds = 12,103,014 * 25 = 302,575,350**

So there you go! If you wanted to purchase every possible combination to guarantee you winning the jackpot, you would need to purchase over 300 million tickets!

But the good news is, there are better ways to improve your odds of winning Mega Millions without spending so much money.

## Winning VS Losing Combinations

Did you know that after each Mega Millions draw, there will be exactly:

**Winning Combinations: ** 12,124,140 (4%)

**Losing Combinations: ** 290,451,210 (96%)

### Winning Probability Calculations

In the USA Mega Millions, you have to pick 5 numbers from 1 to 70 and 1 Mega Ball from 1 to 25. To win the smallest prize, you need to match either the Mega Ball number or at least 3 main numbers and no Mega Ball. The number of combinations that will always win any prize after each draw is calculated as follows:

#### Total Number of Combinations

The total number of ways to choose 5 main numbers from 70 and 1 Mega Ball from 25 is given by:

\( \binom{70}{5} \times \binom{25}{1} = \frac{70!}{5!(70-5)!} \times 25 = 12,103,014 \times 25 = 302,575,350 \)

#### Winning Combinations

To find out how many combinations win any prize, we calculate the number of ways to match either the Mega Ball or at least 3 main numbers and no Mega Ball:

#### Matching the Mega Ball

The number of ways to pick 5 main numbers from 70 and exactly the Mega Ball is:

\( \binom{70}{5} \times \binom{25}{1} = 12,103,014 \)

#### Matching At Least 3 Main Numbers and No Mega Ball

The number of ways to match exactly 3, 4, or 5 main numbers and no Mega Ball:

\( 20,800 + 325 + 1 = 21,126 \)

#### Total Winning Combinations

Summing up all these winning combinations:

\( 12,103,014 + 21,126 = 12,124,140 \)

#### Non-Winning Combinations

The number of non-winning combinations is given by:

\( \text{Total Combinations} - \text{Winning Combinations} = 302,575,350 - 12,124,140 = 290,451,210 \)

Therefore, there are **12,124,140** combinations that will always win any prize after each draw in the USA Mega Millions lottery.

So that means, 96% of all possible Mega Millions combinations will not win a prize after each draw and only 4% of combinations will always win a prize.

**With our system, you will be able to play the winning 4% Mega Millions combinations frequently.**

## Notable changes

**October 2017 format/price point change**

On October 28, 2017, the price of a Mega Millions play doubled to $2; the first drawing under the current price point was October 31, 2017. The Mega Millions double matrix changed, from 5/75 + 1/15 to the current 5/70 + 1/25. The starting jackpot became $20 million, with minimum rollovers of $5 million.

**October 2013 format change**

The final 5/56 + 1/46 Mega Millions drawing was held on October 18, 2013. The first drawing under the current 5/75 + 1/15 format occurred on October 22.

(Source: Wikipedia)