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..!