Together with Powerball, Mega Millions has been one of the most popular and rewarding lottery games in the United States. Initially known as The Big Game, it has been around since 1996. Six years after it started operating, its name then got modified to The Big Game Mega Millions. Regardless of the name changes, the lottery has always been very consistent when it comes to providing jaw-dropping jackpots. Originally, this lottery game was only available in Georgia, Virginia, Maryland, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Michigan. Then more and more States opted to join until the 2010 cross-sell expansion finally gave way to the lottery game being available to 44 States as well the U.S. Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia.
How Mega Millions compares to Powerball
One of the misconceptions most people who are new to lotteries/lottery games have about Mega Millions is that it’s similar to Powerball. While that may be true to a degree, these lottery games’ differing features set them apart from each other. Perhaps the most obvious difference between the two (other than their names) is their pricing. Tickets for Powerball typically cost around $2 while you can play Mega Millions by purchasing $1 tickets. Another observable difference between the two is their jackpots. The minimum jackpot for Powerball is set at $40 million while Mega Millions is set lower at $15 million.
What about the odds for winning in both games? Since both games have different formats and rules, players’ chances of winning are also different (even though both feature two drums for the draws). For Powerball, the odds of a player winning the jackpot is an astronomical 1 in 292201338 chance. Additionally, this can go up even lower if the player gets Powerball’s Power Play multipliers. On the other hand, the odds of winning a Mega Millions’ jackpot is “slightly” higher at 1 in 258890850.
With such poor chances of winning a jackpot, why do players still continue to purchase tickets for both lottery games? Well, the answer is that jackpots aren’t the only prizes that players can hope to win. So long as one of the numbers on a player’s ticket/s matches with the lotteries’ drawn numbers then the player is a sure winner. Though these lesser prizes aren’t as substantial as the jackpots, for a lot of players these small returns of their lottery ticket purchases are enough. For example, with Mega Millions, a player can get back the money that he used to purchase a ticket if his/her Mega Ball is drawn. If the player is lucky and the numbers on his/her ticket matches 3 normal balls and 1 Mega ball, then he/she will get a prize worth 50x the purchase price of the ticket.
Another misconception people have about Mega Millions is that not a lot of its players win. That can’t be farther from the truth though. In 2012, three people from across the US managed to win a $656 million (cash value $474million) jackpot. Each of the players then received $158 million and are now most likely enjoying their early retirement. Most recently, a player from Indiana managed to win a $536 million (cash value $378.3 million) jackpot all by himself. Again, the odds of winning are pretty low but that doesn’t mean that nobody’s going to win the jackpot.
Availability outside of the US
While it is different from Powerball, Mega Millions commands the same type of popularity both in and out of the United States. Online lottery ticket purchasing services usually offer support for the lottery game along with Powerball. This means that players the world over who want to try their luck can easily purchase a ticket for the lottery game on sites such as Lottery Master, LottoKings, Lotto365, and many more. Interested in winning Mega Millions’ jackpot? If that’s the case then you might want to check out your favorite online lottery ticket purchasing service/agent now.