Mega Millions is arguably one of the most popular US lotteries that is played across the world. In this article, we’re going to talk about playing Mega Millions and also give you some interesting facts about the lottery.
The History of Mega Millions
In 1996, Mega Millions was known as the Big Game. It was only available in a few select states; Illinois, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan and lastly Virginia. It was only played weekly on Fridays and it was also a member of the Multi-State Lottery Association. Fast forward to 1999 and players were allowed to receive cash prizes for their winnings.
In 2002, the name officially became Mega Millions and the format has been constantly changing to accommodate more players, bigger prizes and most importantly, more states. In 2017, the format changed slightly and the minimum jackpot grew to $40 million with a minimum rollover of $5 million. It quickly rose to become one of the most popular lotteries not just in the United States, but also globally due to its large player base and big prizes.
Biggest Wins in Mega Millions
The largest recorded Mega Millions jackpot was won on October 23, 2018 by a single ticket sold in South Carolina. The jackpot was $1.537 billion and is the second largest lottery payout next to the Powerball’s $1.586 billion which was won by multiple tickets. Unfortunately, the ticket has yet to be claimed as of early 2019. If you want to avoid this situation in the future, then playing the USA Mega Millions online is a great way to keep track of your tickets and also get alerts if you win any prizes.
The next largest jackpot was advertised as a $640 million win with a $462 million cash prize. However, ticket sales continued to push the jackpot up to $656 million or a $474 million cash prize and three winners were found in Illinois, Kansas and Maryland.
The third-largest jackpot was $648 million on December 17, 2013. There were two winning tickets; one from California and one from Georgia. Both winners claimed their prizes in cash, but the California winner likely received more because lottery winnings there are exempt from state income tax.
Tips and Tricks to Win in Mega Millions
Lottery is all about luck, but following trends and being smart about your ticket numbers. Here are a couple of smart tips to help you increase your chances of winning.
Vary your numbers so they are both odd and even and high and low. The chance of all odd and all even numbers being drawn is around 3% and having all of the numbers be low or high is also around 3%, meaning it’s best to mix your choices.
Don’t play numbers from the previous jackpot. A number only appears in the same jackpot 33% of the time whereas two or more repeated numbers occurs only 4% of the time.
Play cold numbers that haven’t been drawn in the past 10 drawings. This will increase the chance of a number showing up since it hasn’t appeared for a long time.