Mega Millions

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There are very much lotteries around the planet, a very young one but nonetheless important one is the so-called Megamillions, which is a multijurisdictional lottery game in USA. The first drawing of Megamillions was in 2002. It’s important to know that the initial name once was The Big Game Megamillions because the lottery is the successor of The Big Game. As a result of that, you also know that the accruement of the lottery began far before 2002, in fact the first tickets for The Big Game has been sold in August 31, 1996 in the states Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Virginia, Massachusetts and Georgia. The game was the idea of Rebecca Paul from the lottery of Georgia and Penelope W. Kyle (Virginia lottery). In this period of time it was drawn weekly every Friday.

A few years later, on May 15, 2002, Ohio and New York followed New Jersey joining The Big Game, it was then renamed The Big Game Megamillions, whilst the logo nearly stayed the same. The logo formerly was a big round circle which should represent the big money ball, the pot which is released to the winners so to speak. This money ball became the so called MegaBall. Until 2003 February the big money ball was continued to see in the logo of Megamillions with the actual name ” The Big Game” written on it. After this February the letters has been replaced by six stars, which should represent the six original members of the former consortium. As a result, the first original Megamillions drawing was held on May 72 a few days later, while the Illinois lottery owns the trademark Megamillions. Washington Texas as well as California joined lottery Megamillions a few years later, while California has been the last new member before Megamillions’ cross sell expansion in 2010. The first edition to Megamillions after this cross sell expansion was Montana which joined Megamillions on 1 March 2010.

An important thing to know is that Texas, which joined Megamillions 2003, was the first member, who initially offers a special option only to Texas lottery players, which was known as the so-called megaplier. This expansion was similar to the former Powerball’s power-play feature. After January 31, 2010 (cross selling date) all other 11 Megamillions lotteries offer the new supplier too, one after the other, except California.

The cross sell expansion in 2010

In early 2009 New Jersey and some other states announced, that they would seek permission to offer Powerball tickets beside Megamillions. The ensuing agreement between Megamillions and the MUSL (multi-state lottery Association) and allowed all US lotteries to offer both games. On cross selling date the expansion of Megamillions began and 23 Powerball lotteries were included, so that 35 jurisdictions take part in Megamillions. The first Powerball tickets offered in Megamillions participating lotteries were sold on the same day. Sequentially other states joined Powerball for example Ohio on April 16, 2010 and California on April 8, 2013. An anomaly is, that Montana was the first Powerball member which adds Megamillions after the expansion in January 31. With Nebraska as the 37th Megamillions member joining on March 20, 2010, Oregon as the 38th member of Megamillions on March 28, the 39th Megamillions member Arizona joining on April 18 and Maine (40th) taking part on May 9, 2010 in addition to Colorado and South Dakota participating on May 16, 2010, the total 42 jurisdictions are complete. The last two additions, the US Virgin Islands in October 2010, and Louisiana in November 2011, bring the amount of jurisdictions to the current total of 44.

Today nearly every state offering Megamillions also offers Powerball and its specific additions, the so-called powerplay option as well as the megaplier.

The format change in October 2013

In October 2013 the format of Megamillions changed from 5/56 + 1/46 to the current format 5/75 + 1/15, whilst the megaplier-option remains and includes now a five times multiplier which is applied to all prices except the jackpot (before it was maximum a 4 times multiplier). For example a 5+0 game wins now $5 million cash instead of $1 million, if the megaplier option 5x was chosen. The minimum jackpot changed to $15 million with some rollovers of $5 million at least, furthermore the second prize changed to $1 million cash. The main difference lies in the format: Instead of choosing five of 56 white balls and one of 46 golden balls, the player now chooses five in 75 white balls and one in 15 golden Balls. With the new format the winning odds changed from 1 in 14 to 1 in 15, while the probability to win the jackpot was halved to 1 in 259 million. Additionally the annuities changed from 26 to 30 years.

Eurojackpot or Mega Millions

In comparison to Eurojackpot, the jurisdictional lottery of the EU, Megamillions seems to achieve higher chances to win in the lower profit categories. But if you consider the jackpot amount of Megamillions, which often varies from maybe $200 million up to $640 million (which was the largest Megamillions jackpot 2012 March 30), in comparison to the jackpot of Eurojackpot which will never hit the $100 million mark, you also see, that the lower odds of winning in Megamillions in the higher categories depreciate.

Where to play Mega Millions?

Apart from playing Megamillions by buying tickets in retail stores, it is much more popular and more comfort to play Megamillions via the Internet. To do that, you need to open an account at one of the serious lottery sites. While some people see this as a barrier, the bigger part of people will benefit from this circumstance. The main advantage is that you don’t have to care that much about your asset, because it is saved on the server of a serious lottery provider. This provider will also check, if your ticket, respectively the numbers on it, matches to the winning numbers. If the price is won, it will automatically be accredited to your account funds. Furthermore, you can easily choose the games you want to play, because most lottery sites doesn’t only offer one game but nearly all available games considering lottery in your country.

What happens with the sales?

Like nearly every other lottery to, approximately 50% of the sales of Megamillions is returned to players as the winning prizes. The rest is split to the retailers, the marketing and the operation units as well as the 45 participants. The exact proportion of the 50% which is split is different in every lottery.

The principle of the game

Given in the text before, the main principle of Megamillions is to choose five in 75 normal balls, also called white balls, and one in 15 Megaball.

Odds of winning

The mega millions lottery has very good odds to win a jackpotIf every ball matches you won the jackpot with the chance of one in 258,809,850. With a chance of one in 18,492,204 you are also able to want $1 million if all five normal balls matches. If only four normal balls and the mega ball matches, you won $5000. The odds of winning for that case is one in 739,688. The fourth step would be the match of only four normal balls, in which case you would win $500 at a chance from one in 52,835. With a chance of one in 10,720 you will be able to win $50, therefore three of five normal balls and the mega ball have to match. If only three normal balls match, you win five dollars, at a chance of one in 766. The case of two matching normal balls and a matching mega ball is depicted with a chance of one in 473 and a price of five dollars. The last but one winning category can be reached if one normal ball and the mega ball matches, you will then win two dollars at the chance of one in 56. The last category is one dollar at the chance of one in 21 with a matching mega ball.

The overall odd of winning is one in 15, which sounds good but therefore the amount of winning the jackpot is quite low.

The popular option: Megaplier

The megaplier shows its function in its name which is similar to “multiplier”. In fact, the megaplier will multiply the price by maximum five, except the jackpot. You can choose the megaplier from 1 to 5, each step costs one dollar, as well as each tip. The winners of a price of Megamillions lottery got a specific period of time until their prize decays. This time period will be 180 days for California prizes except the jackpot, or a whole year. In some states there is also a 60 day limit in which case of exceeding it will be prohibited to the winner to collect its money as cash but just annually.

The ticket fees

An important thing you have to pay attention on are the fees. For US civilians there is the 25% capital returns tax which is set on lottery wins over $5000. If you are a non-US civilian you will have to pay 30%. Additionally to this circumstance, there is also the state specific tax, which value varies between 5% and 8%. These taxes have to be paid after getting the reward.

Where do the drawings take place?

Usually drawings are held in the studios of WSB TV in Georgia, Atlanta. Ken Burns, the WSB’s chief meteorologist is the original host, but most times the drawings are moderated by the full-time host of the Georgia lottery, John Crowe, beside Brian Hooker. Maybe big jackpots cost the drawing to be moved to Times Square in New York City sometimes, where Yolanda Vega, the New York lottery announcer, is co-hosting.


The minimum age for participation on Megamillions is 18, like in most other lotteries too. You can play Megamillions via the Internet also from abroad, even if you are a non-US civilian you can buy tickets in the US. The only difference to the US civilians is the higher tax of 30% than 25%. It also is possible, that additional taxes are existing in your mother country.

Comparison to Euro millions

In comparison to other countries and its lotteries, for example Euromillions, Megamillions has got far higher jackpots. The Euromillions lottery jackpot’s maximum is set to €119 million. The main principle of Euromillions is matching five of 15 normal numbers and two of 11 so-called Star numbers. While the chance of winning this slightly higher than in Megamillions, the amount you win is a bit lower and amortize the higher odds of winning. Also the input amount is a bit higher, in fact you have to pay two euros for one tip. Like in Megamillions, 50% of the sales goes to the prize funds. The rest is split retail shops, the lottery organisations and the nations. Currently nine countries participate in Euromillions, Spain, France, the UK, Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal and Switzerland.


Considering the fact, that Megamillions lottery achieved the world’s highest jackpot and that the price for a tip is very low, but also the circumstance, that the odds of winning for the highest prize category are quite low as well as the taxes on the price are fairly high, it is obvious that Megamillions is one of the most popular lotteries on earth, albeit it may be not the most profitable lottery considering the odds of winning the jackpot. Nevertheless it is one of the biggest lotteries on earth and therefore one of the most secured ones. A big effort is, that you can also play Megamillions from abroad primarily via the Internet.