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About Mega Millions

Mega Millions is a hugely successful American multi-jurisdictional lottery game with prizes ranging from $2 to $1 million and jackpots that can reach staggering amounts.

How to Play Mega Millions and Odds

The simple premise of the game is for players to pick six numbers from two separate pools of numbers, five different numbers from 1 to 70, and one number (the Mega Ball number) from 1 to 25. They can also choose the Quick Pick option. The Jackpot is won if all six of the played numbers are matched by those that are drawn.

Jackpot winners are given two payment options, annuity or cash. The annuity option is paid by one immediate payment followed by 29 yearly payments, with each payment being 5% bigger than the last one. The cash option provides a one off, lump sum payment that is less than the value of the Jackpot.

Mega Millions is now played in 45 jurisdictions: 43 states plus the U.S. Virgin Islands and District of Columbia.

Please find below a breakdown of all the prize categories available and the odds of winning them:

PrizeMatch neededPrizeOdds
Rank 15 + 1Jackpot1 in 302,575,350
Rank 25 + 0$1,000,0001 in 12,607,306
Rank 34 + 1$10,0001 in 931,001
Rank 44 + 0$5001 in 38,792
Rank 53 + 1$2001 in 14,547
Rank 63 + 0$101 in 606
Rank 72 + 1$101 in 693
Rank 81 + 1$41 in 89
Rank 90 + 1$21 in 37

The Mega Millions draws are held every Tuesday and Friday at 11:00 pm Eastern Time.

About Some Mega Millions Jackpot Winners

Mega Millions has created hundreds of millionaires across America, and paid out the biggest US Jackpots in history.

Here are the highest jackpot won during last 5 years:

June 9, 2020 - $414 million won by an anonymous couple in Glendale, Arizona.

December 17, 2019 - $375 million won by The Great Hope Trust in Ohio.

June 7, 2019 - $522 million won by Laarni Bibal in San Diego, California.

January 1, 2019 - $437 million won by New Life 2019, LLC, a group of 23 co-workers from Long Island, N.Y.

October 23, 2018 - $1.537 billion won by an anonymous player in South Carolina

July 24, 2018 - $543 million won by a syndicate of 11 co-workers of Santa Clara County (California).

March 30, 2018 - $533 million won by Richard Wahl of Vernon, N.J.

January 5, 2018 - $451 million won by Secret 007, LLC, of Port Richey, Florida.

August 11, 2017 - $393 million won by Patricia Busking of Palos Heights, Illinois.

July 8, 2016 - $536 million won by Warren D., LLC, of Indiana

June 2, 2015 - $262 million won by John Williams and Neal Logue of Blue Island, Illinois.

January 16, 2015 - $265 million won by Jesus Davila Jr. of Naperville, Illinois.

Will you be one of these success stories in the future? Make it happen by trying out the Mega Millions lottery game and give yourself the chance to win big and live the dream!

Unclaimed Mega Millions Prizes

As well as the many success stories, there have also been some negative tales surrounding Mega Millions in regards to unclaimed jackpot prizes. According to the New York Times, the lotteries operating the syndicate managing the Mega Millions have as much as $1 billion in unclaimed prizes. This including prizes ranging from a $99 million ticket in Farmville, Virginia and a host of unclaimed jackpots in New York said to exceed $ 200 million dollars, significantly more than any other US state or area. Depending on the state where the ticket was bought, Mega Millions winners are given a timeframe of either 180 days (for California non-jackpot prizes only), or one year from the draw date to claim prizes, including the jackpot.

Mega Millions Game History and Background

Mega Millions Game History

The Mega Millions lottery started in 1996 under its former name ‘The Big Game’ and at the time had just six states participating: Georgia, Massachusetts, Illinois, Virginia, Michigan and Maryland. In 1999 the game saw some changes, most notably players being given a larger choice of numbers to choose from as well the cash option for prize payments. After the ‘Big Game’ paid a record $363 million jackpot in 2000, there was a rise in interest for multi-state games, and this lead to the creation of ‘Mega Millions’ in May 2002 as New York and Ohio became member states. Washington, Texas and California also joined in the future which helped cement Mega Millions as the countries most widely played lottery game. Since this formation, there have been several alterations made to its matrix. Most significantly in October 2013, which is the same matrix used today, making for bigger jackpots, more secondary prizes and better overall odds of winning.

The changes made to the Mega Millions as from Tuesday 31-10-17 included a larger starting jackpot ($40 million instead of $15 million), increased prizes and different odds of winning. The main numbers to choose from became 70 instead of 75, and the Mega Ball numbers became 25 instead of 15. Thanks to these changes the jackpots were growing much quicker and became higher than usual.

As from April 2020, new changes were applied, establishing that the starting jackpots and the jackpot increases will depend on the ticket sales and interest rates. Before, the jackpot started at 40 million, and there was a minimum increase of $5 millions. The last decisions have been taken by the Mega Millions Consortium following the health crisis, since the sales patterns have changed.

A Little More Background

Draws for the Mega Millions are hosted by full time hosts of Georgia lottery drawings, Carol Blackmon and John Crow. They take place at the studios of WSB-TV in Atlanta, Georgia on Tuesdays and Fridays at 11:00 p.m., Eastern time.