5 Interesting Facts about Mega Millions
19th December 2017 11:02 AM
Mega Millions is one of the largest lotteries in the world and the game has produced some of the biggest jackpot winners of all time. Have a look at these five interesting facts ahead of tonight’s drawing. This evening’s jackpot is an estimated $223 million and there’s still plenty of time to pick up a ticket.
The First Mega Millions Draw
The first drawing took place on September 6th 1996, when Mega Millions was known as The Big Game. Only six states participated at that time: Georgia, Virginia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Michigan.
In 2002, the lottery was renamed as The Big Game Mega Millions. Following the relaunch, a $28 million jackpot-winning ticket was sold in Illinois, before another player landed a jackpot prize of $12 million a week later. A total of nine Mega Millions jackpots were won in 2002, with the largest going to a New Jersey participant who picked up $165 million.
Megaplier in California
In October 2013, the supplementary Megaplier wager was introduced, which is offered in every participating state except California. Lottery prize amounts in California vary from the fixed levels elsewhere because state law dictates they must be calculated in relation to the amount of tickets sold and the number of winners in each tier. This is referred to as a pari-mutuel system.
Megaplier multiplies all non-jackpot prizes for players who opt in when they buy their ticket. In the four years since the introduction of the Megaplier, 571 players have won a Match 5 prize and more than 65 of these players claimed amounts greater than the regular $1 million payout, having opted into the multiplier. You can learn more about Megaplier prizes on the Prizes page.
Largest Mega Millions Jackpot
Mega Millions holds the record for the third and fourth largest jackpots in the world. The biggest Mega Millions top prize ever amounted to $656 million after 19 rollovers and was split between three winning ticket holders from Maryland, Illinois and Kansas on March 30th, 2012.
The second largest jackpot in the history of the game was $648 million, shared by two players from Georgia and California on December 17th, 2013. You can take a look at the top ten Mega Millions jackpot winners on the dedicated page.
Odds of Winning the Mega Millions Jackpot
The odds of winning the jackpot prize are 1 in 302,575,350 and the odds of winning a second-tier prize are 1 in 12,607,306. You can view the odds of winning a prize in each tier here.
States with the Most Mega Millions Jackpot Winners
Since 2002, there have been 175 jackpot-winning draws, with 20 of these being split between two or more ticket holders. New York and California have enjoyed the most Mega Millions success, with 36 and 29 jackpot wins respectively, while New Jersey and Ohio sit in joint third, boasting 18 top prize winners each. Visit the Winners page for more information.
Page Last Updated: 19/12/2017 11:02:41