Mega Millions Lottery Tips
Mega Millions Stats
- Odds: 1 in 258,890,850
- Jackpot: Minimum $15 million
- Pick Size: Pick-5 + Pick-1 Powerball type
- Where to Play: 44 States, DC, and U.S. Virgin Islands
- How to Play: Choose 5 numbers 1-75 and 1 number 1-15
- Price: $1
- Drawings: Tuesdays and Fridays
- How to Win: Match all 5 winning numbers and the Mega ball number
- Official Website: Mega Millions Lottery
- Advantage Gold History File: MM0575.slh
About Mega Millions
Mega Millions is a popular multi-state lottery which currently has a 5/75+1/15 number format, since October 22, 2013. This is a big jackpot game that must have low odds of winning in order to create lotto prizes in the hundreds of millions to close to a billion dollars range.
History of Mega Millions
When it started in May 2002, Mega Millions replaced the Big Game lottery. First Mega Millions copies Powerball's game format, then tries to replace it as America's Favorite Lottery Game. In an effort to top the Powerball jackpots, the new Mega Millions lottery has increased the jackpot odds by 40 percent—and added more states to the mix.
Mega Millions only has slightly better odds than Powerball. However, the largest benefit of choosing to play Mega Millions over major competitor Powerball is that you can still buy a Mega Millions ticket for one dollar, while a Powerball ticket costs twice that.
Odds of Winning Mega Millions
The odds of winning all those hundreds of millions are one in 258.9 million (most recently up from 1:176 million). When you realize that the entire population of the United States is over 310 million and the odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are one in 258,890,850, it is a mystery why anyone would buy a lottery ticket for this game and have any expectation of winning the jackpot. (If the jackpot IS hit too often for the Mega Millions lottery officials, the next name change will probably be MEGA BILLIONS! The highest jackpot on record for this game was already more than half a billion!)
The odds of winning second prize for $1,000,000 are one in 18.5 million — which is about the same as the first prize jackpot odds of a 6/51 game. So, the ROB (Return On Bet) is very poor for the other prize categories as well. But, this is still a very popular game due to the draw of very high jackpots.
How to Play Mega Millions
To play Mega Millions, a lotto player chooses five numbers (White Balls) from 75 numbers, and then selects one Gold MEGA Ball number from 1 to 15. Each game play on a ticket costs only $1, which does give it an advantage over its biggest competition, Powerball, which charges $2 per ticket. In Texas and most other locations, you can also choose to pay an addition $1 per game to multiply any non-jackpot prizes by 2x, 3x, or 4x with the Megaplier to increase your smaller winnings. The Kicker is another extra $1 option, but it is available only to players in Ohio. Drawings are held twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays.
You can buy a Mega Millions ticket from an official ticket dealer in any of the states
participating in MEGA Millions:
Arkansas, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington, D.C., West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Winning the Mega Millions Jackpot
The Mega Millions jackpot starts at $15 million, but most often grows from that into a very large jackpot since the game is played in so many states and is so difficult to win. Jackpots increase by a minimum of $5 million each time there is no winner. Jackpots in the hundreds of millions of dollars range are not uncommon for Mega Millions.
Powerball, with its $1.5 Billion jackpot has now beaten Mega Millions for the world-record highest jackpot spot. Mega Millions still holds the record for the 2nd largest jackpot in the world after it had the top spot for years.Mega Millions Jackpot records:
- 2nd largest Jackpot - March 30, 2012: jackpot of $656 million which was split among 3 winners.
- 3rd largest Jackpot - December 17, 2013, the jackpot almost beat the record, reaching $648 million, which was split between 2 winners.
- The largest Mega Millions jackpot ever won on a single ticket was $319 million on March 25, 2011.
In addition to the lotto jackpot, there are eight other ways to win Mega Millions in prize categories from $1 (Mega Ball only) to $1,000,000 (for 5 numbers matched without the Mega Ball). You can win a Mega Millions prize just for matching the Mega Ball alone, and prizes increase the more regular number winners you match with the Mega Ball. Or, match three or more 5/75 numbers to win prizes without the Mega Ball.
About Mega Millions Lottery Strategy
All it takes is a buck — and an enormous amount of luck — and some Smart Luck® Mega Millions strategies, of course. In spite of the tremendous odds against winning Megamillions, how to win the game is a combination of several things you can do to play smart.
Lottery numbers are randomly drawn. But randomly drawn numbers form patterns that can be tracked and used to our advantage. Having carefully analyzed all the drawings in past lotto results of more than 190 different lotto games worldwide, with histories going back as far as 1955, we have verified the following incredibly simple rule:
That which is LEAST POSSIBLE happens LEAST OFTEN.
The key to Smart Luck's successful lotto number selection methods is playing the probabilities. If you play a pattern that occurs only five percent of the time, you can expect that pattern to lose 95 percent of the time, giving you no chance to win 95 percent of the time. So, don't buck the probabilities.
Lottery Strategies to help you win Mega Millions
Below are free lotto tips to help you play the game smarter and win the lottery, taken from Gail Howard's lotto book, Lottery Master Guide. This is just a sample, and the book explains all of Smart Luck's successful methods of number selection in great detail with examples of patterns shown throughout. It is a great starting place for any lotto player.ADD TO CART
Advantage Gold software makes all the charts for this game, to automate the process of choosing the best numbers to play. If you use the Advantage Gold software, when pressing Alt-B you can see all the charts for the five white balls; or use the separate lotto file created for just the mega ball. Or see all the charts for all six balls together (which we do not recommend).ADD TO CART
How to WIN MEGA Millions with 8 Easy Number Tips
ODD-EVEN LOTTO NUMBER TIPS
When you select your Mega Millions best playing numbers, try to have a relatively even mix of odd and even numbers. All odd numbers or all even numbers are rarely drawn, occurring less than 3 percent of the time. The best mix is to have 3/2 or 2/3 which means three odd and two even, or two odd and three even.
HIGH-LOW LOTTO NUMBER TIPS
Winning numbers are usually spread across the entire number field. If we take a number field and cut it in half, we have the low half and the high half. In a 75-number game like Mega Millions, numbers 1 to 38 would be in the low half, and numbers 39 to 75 would be in the high half. All high numbers or all low numbers are rarely drawn, occurring only 3 percent of the time. The best mix is to have 3/2 or 2/3 which means three high and two low, or two high and three low.
LOTTERY NUMBER GROUP STRATEGIES
Look at a list of past Mega Millions winning combos, and you'll see that there can't be every number group represented. Many times, more than the minimum 3 of the number groups are not represented. For example, in the combination 5-8-32-43-66, there are no 10's, 20's, 50's, or 70's. Tracking and studying Number Groups can help you decide which group to omit and which group to give extra heavy play.
LOTTERY GAMES SKIPPED STRATEGIES
List the number of games skipped (games out) since the last hit (win) for each of the winning numbers during the last five games. Then mark the number of times each skip occurred. If any skip from 0 to 5 did not occur, play the Lotto numbers that are out that many games. (Help working with lotto games skipped.)
LOTTO NUMBER SUM ADVICE - PLAY A BALANCED GAME®
After you choose five Mega Millions lottery numbers you want to play, add them together and make sure that the sum of the five numbers adds up to somewhere between 141 and 240. Sums that fall within that range (the Most Probable Range of Sums) will account for over 70 percent of all lottery jackpots won.
REPEAT HITS LOTTERY TIPS
In the 5/75 MEGA Millions, on average, one or more lottery numbers will be a repeat hit from the last drawing a little less than 50% of the time.
HOT NUMBER LOTTERY SECRETS
Numbers that have been out (losers) for six games or less account for many of the winning numbers. Relatively hot numbers are more likely to hit, but don't forget to include at least one long shot number in your group of 5.
COLD NUMBER LOTTERY SECRETS
It is difficult to know when a cold number will end a long losing streak. If you play a number every drawing because you think it is due, you could be chasing it for many months.
Save Money by Knowing Lotto Numbers to Avoid
Lotto players who select their lottery numbers thoughtlessly or foolishly are destined to lose even before the drawing takes place, especially with a game with very low winning odds like Mega Millions. By knowing which number combinations and patterns to avoid, you'll have an advantage over such players—and save money, too.
AVOID NUMBER COMBINATIONS THAT HAVE BEEN DRAWN BEFORE
Many players like to bet the numbers that have won someone else a big jackpot, and by doing so, they are almost guaranteed NOT to win one themselves. In MEGA Millions, with two drawings a week, a set of five numbers plus the Gold MEGA Ball has a chance of being drawn once every 2,489,335 years!!! This should also answer the question we are so often asked, "Shouldn't I keep playing the same set of numbers every week because they are due to hit sometime?"
AVOID BETTING FIVE CONSECUTIVE NUMBERS
Even four consecutive numbers is a very rare occurrence that, in most Lotto games, has never happened once.
AVOID BETTING ONE LOTTO NUMBER GROUP
Never choose all five numbers from one number group, such as all single digits, or all teens, or all 20's, etc. All five winning numbers drawn from one group is highly unlikely.
AVOID THE COMBINATION 1-2-3-4-5
The most popular set of numbers most often played is: 1-2-3-4-5. Thousands of tickets are bought with this combination every drawing. The selection is too far out of balance to come up in a random drawing.
AVOID PATTERN BETTING
Pattern betting is an even more popular method of marking bet slips, but it is not a good way to win Mega Millions. Patterns of numbers marked in a row to make a straight line, either across the bet slip vertically or diagonally get heavy play—which means sharing the prize with others if the numbers are drawn as winners. Other designs such as patterns of initials or numbers or crosses also get heavy play.
AVOID NUMBER MULTIPLES
Other Mega Millions popular number combinations that get heavy play are the number multiples, especially 5-10-15-20-25 and 7-14-21-28-35.
AVOID ALL SAME LAST DIGITS
Many people like to play same last digits, such as 3-13-23-33-43, or all digits that end in seven, or some other favorite lucky lottery number. It is unlikely that even 4 same last digits will hit together.
AVOID LOW NUMBER COMBINATIONS
The majority of Lotto players like to play the calendar numbers, such as birth dates and anniversaries—and their children's ages. This means that the most heavily played numbers are 1 through 31. MEGA Millions has 75 numbers. If you play only the calendar numbers, you might be sharing your jackpot with dozens of other winners who used these popular numbers on their own Mega Millions ticket, and your tickets will be very unbalanced with no high numbers. It's not to say that you shouldn't play your personal numbers if you feel these lucky numbers are good to play. But we recommend that you include a couple of high numbers so that just in case your numbers do hit, you win a prize that's worth something.
Lotto Wheeling Systems to help you win Mega Millions
Use a wheel to arrange a larger group of numbers into sets of tickets to buy to guarantee a minimum prize. The recommended wheeling systems for Mega Millions are pick-5 Balanced Wheels® like those in Wheel Five Gold. Treat the five mega million white balls as you would any pick-5 game. Do not wheel the Gold MEGA Ball. The Gold MEGA Ball number is marked on a separate set of 15 numbers on your bet slip and should be chosen separately.ADD TO CART
USE BALANCED WHEEL® SYSTEMS
Balanced Wheeling® Systems allow you to bet a large group of numbers (more than 5), play scientific combinations of that group of numbers, and get a specific minimum win guarantee. Balanced Wheels® force all the winning numbers that are in your group to come together to give you at least one prize if some or all of the winning numbers are in your chosen group.
It's true that the more numbers you wheel, the easier it is to trap the winning numbers in your chosen group. But to get the most leverage for your money, the optimum number of numbers to wheel is not more than four or five numbers over HALF the numbers in your game. So, for the best way to win Mega Millions, wheel less than about 42 of the 75 total numbers. Otherwise, you'll be spending MORE money chasing a SMALLER guaranteed prize. You benefit more by wheeling a carefully selected group of lotto numbers.
THE BEST WAY TO WHEEL ALL THE LOTTO NUMBERS IN YOUR GAME
Any one wheeling system that covers ALL the numbers in the game is too spread out, making the win guarantee not worth the wager. There are smart ways to wheel all the Mega Millions numbers by using Trap-by-Overlap and other wheeling strategies covered on pages 137 to 142 in Gail Howard's lotto book, Lottery Master Guide.
Most of Smart Luck's lottery winners used a Balanced Wheel® in addition to her Smart Luck® number selection methods. You can use a FREE interactive Balanced Wheel® System that won multiple jackpots. Read about our lottery winners, too. And when you win the mega millions jackpot with Smart Luck lotto systems, tell us about it so you can be added to Gail Howard's growing list of winners. If you don't want your name publicized, we will honor that.
Lottery Pools and Lottery Syndicates
POOL YOUR WAY TO LOTTO RICHES
Several of the 107 Lotto jackpots won with Smart Luck lottery systems were won by groups of people who pooled their money. Sharing the ticket cost with others stretches your Lotto budget. By playing with a group, you can afford to buy more lottery tickets—and play larger wheeling systems—than you could (or should) by yourself. Draw up an agreement and have the members of your pool sign it.
How to Get Lucky in Lotto
CASH IN ON THE LUCK OF OTHERS
When you form a Lotto pool, your group is also pooling its aggregate luck. A jackpot could happen because of the luck just one member brings to your pool. Select your partners carefully. Share your luck with winners, not losers. Avoid negative people. Not only are they unlucky, but they dampen enthusiasm and drain energy from others. You want to enhance your own luck, not dilute its strength. One quick way to tell winners from losers is simply to ask them: "Do you think you are a lucky person?" Many people quickly admit, "I'm unlucky. I never win anything." They won't bring good luck to your group either.
CASH IN ON A POSITIVE ATTITUDE
No one should play games of chance out of desperation because they need the winnings. The needy have a greater fear of losing the hard-earned money they gamble with. It is just one of life's dirty tricks that the very fear of losing blocks the winning forces. Thoughts are charged with energy, especially when triggered by emotion. Fear attracts exactly that which one fears. A strong desire for a goal that is charged with positive energy, attracts a positive response, especially when every effort is made to attain that goal - Anyone can win Mega Millions with the right strategies and attitude.
In Lotto, the Trend is Your Friend
The shortest, easiest way to search for Lotto numbers that have the greatest probability of winning is to track the trends. Smart Luck strategies show you how to understand and use historical data. Advantage Gold is the best lotto strategy software which has a vast assortment of charts and reports that allow you to examine your lotto numbers in an infinite variety of ways. Advantage Gold teaches you to understand and use historical data to win more Mega Millions prizes.
Number Selection Lotto Software
More Info ADD TO CART
Lottery Master Guide
Lottery Strategy Book
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Wheel Five Gold™
Balanced Lotto Wheel® Software for Pick-5 Games
More Info ADD TO CART
Lotto Winning Wheels for Powerball and Mega Millions
Balanced Wheel® System Book for Powerball/Mega Millions Games
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Filtering Full Wheel Generator™
Full Wheeling Software for Pick-3 to Pick-10 Games
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More Help for Which Products to Buy for Mega Millions:
Mega Millions WinnersThere has already been a Gail Howard lottery winner who won a major Mega Millions prize. See her story:
More Info ADD TO CART
Lotto StrategyUsing Lottery Strategies to Pick Winning Numbers for Mega Millions
Lotto WheelingUsing Wheels to Improve Your Odds of Winning Mega Millions
Win with Lotto Software and Books
See all Smart Luck lottery software and lotto books or the full lottery product guide and list of best lottery software and books for your state to use for Mega Millions. Also see the references on the right side of this page: products to use for Mega Millions, many articles for more info on understanding lottery strategy and the concepts of lotto wheeling, winner stories, links to our free wheels for Mega Millions, and more!
Frequently Asked Questions About Mega Millions
A: Yes, getting just the gold mega ball as a winner on your ticket will win you a prize of $1, even if you do not have any of the main set of 5 white Mega Millions numbers.
A: You can get a prize for matching 1 white ball with the gold mega ball, but not for matching just 2 white balls alone. The smallest prize without the mega ball is for 3 white balls.
A: To find out if someone won the Mega Millions game for last night's drawing or the most recent game result, go to the Mega Millions Winning Numbers page, and it lists the number of jackpot winners under the drawing. Most Mega Millions winner names are not released, but if one is, it would be listed on the Mega Millions website. View one of Gail Howard's winner stories: Cynthia C won 2nd prize in Mega Millions, all 5 winning numbers without the Mega Ball.
A: Mega Millions has a number field of 75 numbers with the Mega Ball being drawn from a separate pool of 15 numbers. You pick five numbers out of seventy-five and one number out of fifteen to win Mega Millions.