What is Mega Millions and how is it different?

The Mega Millions game formula is very similar to many other popular lotteries. On the surface, there is very little that makes it different. However, when looking a little deeper, you can find a few interesting things that set it apart. The main draw for most players is the large prizes and this is something with which most other lotteries simply cannot compete. How many lotteries do you know can claim to have paid out a jackpot in excess of one billion dollars? And that “dream big” mentality is exactly what gets so many lottery players so excited in the first place. 

Not all of the attention should be paid to the jackpot, though. There are some extra Mega Millions rules that you can take advantage of to increase payouts on non-jackpot winnings. The Megaplier feature is a win multiplier option that ranges between one and five times. The option is something players can opt into for each ticket with an extra $1 attached. This ups the price of each ticket from $2 to $3, but does add that potential to multiply your win by up to five times.

How to play – Mega Millions rules

It doesn’t take much to learn how to play Mega Millions. As with any lottery, one of the main attractions is sheer simplicity. All players need to do is make five selections of numbers ranging between 1 and 70. An extra separate selection is also required for your Mega Ball number, which is made from a range between 1 and 25. Getting the right number on the Mega Ball provides a large boost to any winnings achieved via the other five selections and is vital to achieving the jackpot prize.

Once you have made all of your selections on your ticket(s), you will just need to submit them and wait for the next draw. Mega Millions draws happen every Tuesday and Friday, meaning that there are two draws every week. If nobody hits the jackpot on the current draw, the amount rolls over to the next draw at an increased amount.


To win the jackpot, you need to correctly select all five standard numbers and the Mega Ball. This will net you at least $40 million, which is the starting jackpot amount before any rollover has taken into effect. Now the odds of this happening are astronomical, which is why it may be more sound to look at the other prizes. The Megaplier is a good option for really jacking up the payouts for any of the other number of correct selections you could make. The second prize, for instance, requires five standard selections to be correct without the need for the Mega Ball and pays out $2 million. When you add in the multiplier, you could be looking at two to five times that amount.

The minimum prize a player can achieve is $2. This is for correctly picking the Mega Ball and nothing else. This is essentially a one-to-one payout, as it doesn’t include the Megaplier option that requires the additional $1 buy-in. This will boost the minimum win possibility up to $4 from a $3 ticket.

Mega Millions strategies and other helpful tips

You will probably come across lots of different suggestions for the perfect Mega Millions strategy. It is important to keep in mind, however, that there is little evidence to suggest that certain patterns or statistical systems provide any increase to your chances of winning. They’re still interesting to look into and can provide some inspiration to picking your own numbers.

GoodLuckMate’s best tips for playing Mega Millions:

  • Buying more tickets can increase your winning chances BUT…
  • It’s best to have a budget in mind before playing and stick to it
  • Forming syndicates allows groups of people to purchase more tickets
  • Check out the Pyramid Plan and Soul Path number picking systems 
  • Mega Millions subscriptions can be valuable for regular players or those planning on purchasing a lot of tickets

House edge – what are your chances of winning?

The odds of winning any Mega Millions prize are very reasonable at one in 24. However, this accounts for the smaller prizes, many of which are not what attract players. The odds of winning the jackpot, on the other hand, are an eye-watering one in 302,575,350. This is actually higher than Powerball, which stands at around one in 292 million. The difference is minuscule when looking at the larger picture of how unlikely either event is to happen to any given individual.

What is more palatable in terms of odds are the other prizes, which can still add up to quite a bit. The second-place prize is a cool $1 million, while the third is $10,000, both of which do not include the Megaplier that can go up to five times. These have much lower, yet still fairly and understandably high, with odds of around one in 12 million and one in 900,000 respectively. The minimum prize of just correctly selecting the Mega Ball has odds of one in 24.

Play Mega Millions at online casinos

While operating from the US, it is possible to participate in Mega Millions online from anywhere in the world. You neither have to be a US citizen nor a resident to participate. You can enjoy free Mega Millions online from selected resellers. While you are free to enter and browse these sites, you will need to actually purchase the ticket to participate in a draw and the sites usually take a small fee to maintain their services. 

You shouldn’t expect to find a large selection of online casinos offering up Mega Millions tickets, though. These large lottery operations are generally big enough to provide their own platforms or be very selective in who they allow to sell their tickets. 

Live dealer games vs RNG games

While there may not be much in the way of Mega Millions casino selections, you can be sure that there are plenty of sites offering up their own lotteries in live and virtual formats. Live dealer games, named for the abundance of table games offered in the format, allowing players to access a live feed direct to a studio with an announcer making all the calls. These games offer unparalleled immersion and interaction as the rounds unfold. RNG games employ random number generators (RNG) algorithms to create truly random outcomes that allow players to pit themselves against the computer. Both of these formats have a variety of titles available, which you can find at a number of online casinos. To find out which ones, check out our casino reviews section right here at GoodLuckMate.

Nerijus Grenda
Nerijus Grenda
Last Update: 13 Mar 2023
Nerijus Grenda is a prolific contributor to the GoodLuckMate site. With a deep understanding of the online casino industry, gained from his own experience as an avid player, he offers valuable insights on what sets the best casinos apart from the rest. As a writer, Nerijus shares his expertise through expert analysis and thoughtful commentary on various topics related to online gambling, including casino reviews, game guides and industry trends.

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