How To Win The Mega Millions Lottery

If you’ve ever wondered how to win the Mega Millions, read on!

The Mega Millions is a United States based lottery that began in 2002. With a minimum payout of 40 million US dollars, the Mega Millions gives players worldwide a chance at winning big. But how exactly do you play the Mega Millions? What are some of the best methods for winning and what are some of the worst? And what exactly are the odds of winning something like this?

We will cover all of this and much more, so let’s go ahead and dive in!

Who Can Play?

Anyone that is at least 18 years old can play the Mega Millions in most places, but this does vary by state! States like Arizona, Iowa, Louisiana, and Mississippi require you to be 21 years old and Nebraska requires you to be 19 years old. It is important to check directly with the state you’re playing with for their rules.

Anyone in the United States can play. Whether you’re a tourist or a resident, you’ve got a shot!

Though players from other countries can play, they must have purchased the ticket themselves. If you win, you will be asked to present documentation proving that you were in the United States at the time that the ticket was purchased. A passport with a United States stamp would be a good example of documentation.

Websites claim that they can help you to win the U.S. lottery by shipping you tickets is the easiest way to play Mega Millions outside the USA. Some of the companies offer to place a bet on Mega Millions.


How to Play the Mega Millions Jackpot Lottery

If you have $2 and can pick out a few numbers, you have everything you need to play the Mega Millions!

To play, you’re required to pick numbers that will be placed inside two different sets of colorful balls on your game card.

The first set of numbers is for your white balls. You have five white balls, so you have five different numbers to choose. You may choose any number between 1 and 70. The second set is for your gold Mega ball. You only have one gold ball and can choose any number between 1 and 25 to go inside it.

At 11 PM eastern time every Tuesday and Friday evening, balls are drawn, and six numbers are called out. If the six numbers on your balls match the six numbers that were drawn, you’re a winner!

Players who are willing to increase their non-jackpot winnings can purchase a Megaplier add on for $1 in most states.


Chances of Winning

You don’t even have to get all six numbers in order to win something. The jackpot starts at 40 million and rises every time someone doesn’t win, but the other prizes are available at predetermined amounts. The only state that does not follow this predetermined payout schedule is California, who determines payout amounts other than the jackpot by the number of sales and winners.

The thrill of a game like the Mega Millions is that the odds are slim, but not impossible!

Mega Millions Odds and Prizes

The following represents your overall odds of winning per category and the amount available to win.

Winning Numbers Odds Prize
6 balls + gold ball 1 in 302,575,350 jackpot prize
5 white balls 1 in 12,607,306 odds $1,000,000 prize
4 white balls and the gold ball 1 in 931,001 $10,000 prize
4 of the white balls 1 in 38,792 odds $500 prize
3 white balls and the gold 1 in 14,547 $200 prize
3 white balls 1 in 606 $10 prize
2 white and the gold 1 in 693 $10 prize
1 white and the gold 1 in 89 odds $4
Just gold 1 in 37 $2 prize

Overall chances of winning ANY prize are 1 in 24.

How Much Can You Win?

Though you’re guaranteed to win at least 20 million dollars if your lucky numbers turn out to be really lucky, the exact amount varies. The most recent winner purchased a ticket in Illinois and won 55 million dollars on June 8, 2021. Just a month prior on May 21, 2021, someone won 516 million in Pennsylvania on a jackpot that had been running since February of 2021. The biggest prize awarded thus far was 1.537 billion. It was won in 2018 in South Carolina.

How to Claim your Prize

If you happen to win the Mega Millions, congratulations! Everyone worldwide will get jealous.

how-to-win-mega-millionsYou have two options when collecting your prize. You can choose to be paid in 30 graduated yearly installments that increase 5% each year, or you can choose to receive your money in cash. The primary difference between them is the amount of taxes required to be paid when the money is given upfront versus when it is broken up into payments. Despite this, the overwhelming majority of winners choose the cash option.

Though you have a full year to claim your prize, in many cases you may forfeit your ability to collect it in cash if you wait longer than sixty days. Individual states have their own rules, so it’s important to be knowledgeable about local procedures when playing.

More than anything if you buy a ticket do NOT throw it away or lose it! In 2007, 31 million dollars went unclaimed in New York. Your chances may be small, but wouldn’t you hate to be the person who could’ve won that if they’d stuck with it?

You’ll need to collect your prize at the lottery headquarters for your jurisdiction.

Strategies to Implement

  1. Mixing even and odd numbers

It is extremely rare for all even or all odd numbers to be drawn, so mixing them up increases your chances.

  1. Combining high and low numbers

Similar to evens and odds, mixing high and low numbers gives you a great chance at winning because an entire set with only one or the other only occurs 3% of the time. For Mega Millions high numbers start from 36 to 70 and low numbers start from 1 to 35.

  1. Multiple tickets

The best way to increase your odds is to increase your odds quite literally. Playing ten or more tickets at a time is a great strategy.

  1. Playing cold numbers

Cold numbers are the numbers that haven’t been drawn very often in the past draws. Playing with cold numbers is a good strategy because of basic statistics. These numbers haven’t come up yet, so they’re likely to come up soon.

Strategies to Avoid

  1. Spending all of your money on tickets

The odds of winning the lottery are slim. Spending all of your money on tickets barely increase chances to win but issues within your life will multiply significantly. If you feel like you may have a problem with gambling, please contact your local gambling addiction hotline. The National Problem Gambling Helpline Network can be contacted by phone at 1-800-522-4700.

  1. Combining hot and cold numbers

Hot numbers are numbers that continue to come up in recent draws. Though using cold numbers is a great strategy, combining them with hot numbers is not wise. If the numbers have come up a lot recently, the odds of them continuing to come up are very slim.

  1. Identical combinations that already won

There are 302,575,350 possible combinations of numbers that could win the Mega Millions. Reusing combinations that have already won is not a wise choice, as the odds of them ever being drawn again are as slim as someone winning the Mega Million jackpot twice.

  1. Consecutive numbers, patterns, groups, multipliers

Any of the above methods will decrease your chances of winning as the chance of any winning number being anything other than random is very small. Choosing related numbers may seem like an easy way to pick your numbers but the odds of you winning this way are very slim.

Things to Remember When Playing Mega Millions

how-to-win-mega-millions2When playing the Mega Millions, it is important to remember to have a good attitude and be responsible.

The Mega Millions is a game, just like anything else. It’s exciting because there is a chance that you could take home millions or even billions of dollars, but that is not the only reason people play. The adrenaline rush, the sense of community, and the activity of tuning in with your family and friends to see numbers drawn is fun in itself.

Keeping a positive attitude while playing allows the game to remain fun. Do not go in expecting to win, but let it be a wonderful surprise if you do!

Being responsible is the most important thing about playing the Mega Millions or any other kind of lottery game. As it does take money to play, you must ensure that you are playing responsibly. Budget your money accordingly and do not ever spend your last dollar on a lottery ticket, because your odds of winning it back are slim to none.

Know the signs of problem gambling and reach out to get help if you suspect that yourself or a loved one has a gambling addiction.

There are many strategies, tips, and tricks to play the Mega Millions. At the end of the day, the game is what you make of it. Have a great time and play responsibly!

Sean Woods
Latest posts by Sean Woods (see all)

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    As an Honors Humanities graduate in University of Brighton I have excellent report writing and presentation skills. I transform my interest in lotteries to useful articles.