Chances of Winning Mega Millions?

Mega Millions Winning Chances?It’s a crazy $212 million jackpot draw tomorrow, but just what are your chances of winning the Mega Millions..?

Mega Millions is different to ‘normal’ lottery draws. It’s a ‘power ball’ type draw which means it’s really 2 draws – and you have to win both to get the jackpot. (You can read all about Mega Millions and how it works here)

That’s normally a very bad thing for the player!

But if you want to know just how bad, here’s how you work out your actual chances of winning that big jackpot…

For Mega Millions, you have 5 numbers from 70, so let’s work out how many different possible results there are. And you do that like this:-

70 x 69 x 68 x 67 x 66 divided by 5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1
= 12,103,014 possible combinations

The Mega Ball Number Is The Killer…

You also have the ‘Mega Ball’ number, which is a separate draw of 1 number from 25. That doesn’t seem so bad, but it actually means there are 25 more ways those 3 million+ possible results from above can happen.

And that does something really nasty to your chances. Because to get the final result you multiply the two like this:-

12,103,014 x 25 = 302,575,350

And that means you only have a 1 in 302 million chance of winning the jackpot..!

It’s Tempting But You Can Do Better

The big jackpot attracts a lot of players. But that jackpot is so big only because it is so damn hard to win.

That’s by design!

The lottery company sell more tickets when the prize is big. But they only get really big prizes when nobody wins, so the jackpot can roll over again and again. And that only happens if the odds of winning are really tough.

And that’s why you only have a 1 in 302 million chance of winning that huge prize.

A Better Chance Of Winning…

Look at the odds for the other lottery games your State runs. Pick a game with a ‘big enough’ prize but better odds.

You can instantly get 5 or 10 times the chance of winning for the same money.

And don’t forget, Mega Millions does now cost $2 per play too, so you might even find your better game is cheaper too!

If your state doesn’t offer a game with a better chance, then check out these guys who run the Florida lottery pools or these guys based in California. Play with them instead and amazingly your chances of winning are instantly 77 times better than the Mega Millions..!

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11 Comments so far ↓

  • LG

    And The Mega Millions Winner Is…

    Did you see it?

    That great big $212 Million prize has been won.

    And the whole lot went to just one (very lucky) winner in New Jersey.

    I hate it when that happens – wouldn’t you rather see TWO HUNDRED people all get a million each?

    • Chico Escuala

      I prefer seeing one big lucky winner in the belief that one day I will be that winner. Lotteries have very cleverly bumped the odds to astronomical levels knowing that most people don’t play unless the jackpot is in the multi 100 M range – this translates into hugely augmented cash inflow for the Lotteries. I’m sure the Powerball execs are all driving new Merc’s & Beamers now after the $1.6 B windfall. One day maybe I’ll see a little slice of that action – LOL 🙂

  • MaryW Coleman

    Yes I agree with you that the lotteries should be set up that when the jackpot soars up into the millions, there should be several big winners, not just one. MWC

  • Ron Lockwood

    I have used OSA and though maybe expensive, I don’t know, I’ve always been paid my winnings. I’ve never won big but I have some trust in them.

  • LG

    Hi Ron,

    OSA – ouch. Those guys are very, very expensive. Typically SEVEN TIMES the normal price from what I’ve seen..! More about OSA lotteries here.

  • Thrifty

    Do not let math fool you. Someone will win, that is a fact. It can be me, you or anybody.

  • LG

    But maths is what determines your chances of winning. And with Mega Millions it’s 1 in 175 million.

    That’s why people regularly do NOT win – it’s designed to be very hard to win, to give more rollovers and therefore bigger jackpots… that sell more tickets and make more money for the lottery company!

  • Thrifty

    Yes, your individual odds of winning are very low, the odds of someone winning are higher with a big jackpot.

    • LG

      Yes, because bigger jackpots sell more tickets. And more tickets means more combinations covered, which is what gives a greater chance of somebody winning.

      But it doesn’t make any difference to your own chances of winning of course.

  • Rosie Guerrero

    Someone told me that the person who won the $400 million Powerball on Saturday paid for a quick pick ticket. Lucky stuff, who says that Quick Picks are not a good choice… I should have bought one as well… lol. Darn ;-(

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