When you play any game of chance, it is important to consider the odds of winning. While extra money may not be your main reason for playing the lottery, knowing the odds before you play will help you make an informed decision.
It will also help increase the thrill of beating the odds and winning anyway
In each draw, the winning numbers are drawn from two separate pools of balls: 5 white balls are drawn from a pool of numbers from 1 to 75, and 1 yellow number is drawn from a pool of 1 to 15. A player can win a prize if they correctly guess any of the numbers that are drawn. The more correct numbers a player guesses, the bigger their prize.
The administrators of the Mega Millions lottery are very open about the odds of winning their game, which makes establishing your chances of making money remarkably easy.
The odds of winning the Jackpot Prize
In order to win the Jackpot in Mega Millions, a player must correctly guess all 5 white balls and the yellow ball. The odds of doing this are 1 in 258 890 850. This means that only one ticket out of every 258 890 850 tickets will be an exact match to the numbers that are drawn in any particular draw. You are more likely to be elected President of the United States, be struck by lightning, or be attacked by a shark than win the jackpot of the Mega Millions.
Before revealing the remainder of the odds, it is important to note that in the state of California, all prizes for the Mega Millions are pari-mutuel. This means that sales and payouts are based upon the number of players and the number of winners at each level. If fewer people play or more people win, the prize money for the Mega Millions in California will decrease. If more people play or fewer people win, the prize money will increase. In this article, any prize values mentioned do not apply to the state of California, but to all of the other states.
The odds of winning any other amount of money
The odds of becoming a millionaire (winning $1 000 000), by correctly guessing 5 white balls but not the yellow ball: 1 in 18 492 204.
- The odds of winning $5000, by correctly guessing 4 white balls and the yellow ball: 1 in 739 688.
- The odds of winning $500, by correctly guessing 4 white balls but not the yellow ball: 1 in 52 835.
- The odds of winning $50, by correctly guessing 3 white balls and the yellow ball: 1 in 10 720.
- The odds of winning $5, by correctly guessing 3 white balls but not the yellow ball: 1 in 766.
- The odds of winning $5, by correctly guessing 2 white balls and the yellow ball: 1 in 473
- The odds of winning $2, by correctly guessing 1 white ball and the yellow ball: 1 in 56
- The odds of winning $1, by correctly guessing the yellow ball: 1 in 21
- The overall odds of winning any prize: 1 in 14.7
Whatever your reason for playing the Mega Millions, knowing the odds will help you have a better sense of your chances whenever you play, making you a smarter player of one of America’s leading lotteries.