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MegaMillions Background and History

If you love enormous jackpots, you’ll definitely love Mega Millions. Hailing in as the second biggest jackpot in the world after the US Powerball, the game attracts countless players from all over the world that want to try their luck and literally win mega millions.

Just like Powerball, Mega Millions is an American lottery that has its roots back in the mid 1990’s. The Big Game, as it was then called, started in 1996 and the first ever tickets were sold in Illinois, Massachusetts, Georgia, Virginia and Michigan. The Big Game took place each week on Fridays, and in 1999, the jackpots were finally offered as cash prizes to the winners.

Just three years later, in January 2002, the Big Game changed its name and became the huge lottery that is now known as Mega Millions.

Although the lottery started in only a few states, throughout the years more and more states and jurisdictions joined. Now the lottery is available in 44 states, though Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada, Alabama, Mississippi and Utah are not allowed to sell lottery tickets.


Notable Changes

Originally, the lottery had a format of 5 out of 56 regular balls and 1 out of 46 for the Mega Ball. This changed in October 2013, when the format we know today was introduced. This increased the number of regular balls, having to select 5 out of 75, while it decreased the number of Mega Balls to 5 out of 15. Although this change saw less people get the chance to win smaller tier prizes, it increased the chances of winning the jackpots. This in turned allowed the jackpot pools to skyrocket.

As an example, on the last draw with the old format, the jackpot stood at $37 million that was not won. This rolled over to the next draw, that took place under the new format. The jackpot of that draw basically “jumped” to $55 million.


The Megaplier

In January 2011, a new option called the Megaplier was introduced and made available to all but one participating Mega Millions states and jurisdictions. California is the only state that did not allow the Megaplier. Players can now double their wager to $2 and have the chance to multiply any prize tier (except for the jackpot) by 2x to 5x.


New format of October 2017

Yet another change is coming to the Mega Millions, this time on October 28, 2017. The price of a play will double and reach $2, and the first draw under the new pricing will take place on October 31, 2017.

A second, very significant change happen as well. The format in which the game plays will be chhanved again, and this time players will have to chance to select 5 out of 70 regular balls, and 1 out of 25 Mega Balls. This change will increase the jackpot pool yet again, the the guaranteed minimum jackpot will be $40 million. The Megaplier will be kept, although some changes will be made to its multipliers.


How to Play MegaMillions

Playing a game of Mega Millions is easy. Just select 1 out of 75 regular balls, and 1 out of the 15 Mega Balls. The number can be selected either by yourself (maybe you have a lucky number?) or you an submit the number via Quick Play, which selects the numbers randomly and automatically for you.

If you guess all six number correctly, you will be the lucky winner of a very generous jackpot prize. There are however several prize tiers, so even if you don’t win the jackpot, you still have very good chances of taking home a very nice amount.


MegaMillions Winning Odds

Tier 1 5 + Mega Ball (Jackpot 1:258,890,850
Tier 2 5 1:18,492,204
Tier 3 4 + Mega Ball 1:739,688
Tier 4 4 1:52,835
Tier 5 3 + Mega Ball 1:10,720
Tier 6 3 1:766
Tier 7 2 + Mega Ball 1:473
Tier 8 1 + Mega Ball 1:56
Tier 9 Mega Ball 1:21

As mentioned before, new changes will come about in October 2017. Here is a breakdown of the current prize structure vs the new one:

Tier 1 5 + Mega Ball (Jackpot) $15 Million (min) $40 Million
Tier 2 5 $1 Million $1 Million
Tier 3 4 + Mega Ball $5,000 $10,000
Tier 4 4 $500 $500
Tier 5 3 + Mega Ball $50 $200
Tier 6 3 $5 $10
Tier 7 2 + Mega Ball $5 $10
Tier 8 1 + Mega Ball $2 $4
Tier 9 Mega Ball $1 $2

Top 3 biggest MegaMillions jackpots

Just as the name suggests, Mega Millions is the kind of lottery that if you’re lucky enough to hit the jackpot, you will become extremely rich. This lottery pays, and it pays well.

On March 30, 2012, the Mega Millions stood at a mind bogglingly $656 million. At the time, this was the largest lottery jackpot ever pooled, anywhere in the world. And there were winners. Three lucky people divided the prize between themselves, and each got their hands on over $218 million. The winning tickets came form Illinois, Maryland and Kansas.

The second crazy big jackpot was won in December 2013, when two very lucky winners each took half of the $648 prize.

Although in third place, the next largest Mega Millions jackpot is not small at all. At a whooping $540 million, this jackpot was won by a single ticket that was purchased in Indiana.

As you can see, this lottery is one of the craziest, biggest and most rewarding out there. For such a small play price, it’s worth trying your luck again and again. You never know, you might just be the next Mega Millions millionaire.

 Top 5 most common numbers

1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
39 2 29 31 35

 Top 5 least common numbers

1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
60 72 64 61 67

 play megamillions at our recommended lottery websites below

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