How Do You Win Mega Millions

The Mega Millions lottery gave away its latest jackpot of $521 million on Friday after the winning ticket was purchased in New Jersey.

This marks the fourth biggest jackpot in the history of the game, with the top three being $656 million in 2012 (split three ways), $648 million in 2013 (split by winners in California and Georgia) and $536 million in 2016, won in Indiana.

So how can you get in on all this money? Well it turns out playing the lottery is a lot easier than it seems.

Every Mega Millions lottery ticket costs $2 each, and can be bought at various gas stations and convenience stores across the country. When a player purchases a ticket, they pick six numbers from two separate pools of numbers — five numbers are selected between one and 70 and one number (the Mega Ball) is selected from one to 25. If your six numbers match the every number selected in the drawing, you win the jackpot.

According to the Mega Millions website, the jackpot resets to $40 million for the next drawing after its won and grows by a minimum of $5 million every time the jackpot rolls over to the next drawing.

But that's not all. Even if you don't match all six numbers on a ticket, there are still ways to walk away with some prize money. If your number matches the Mega Ball in the drawing, you automatically win two dollars. If you match one number and the Mega Ball, you win four dollars, two numbers and a Mega Ball gets you $10, three numbers and the Mega Ball earns you $200 and four and the Mega Ball gets you $10,000.

And even if you don't match the Mega Ball, there are still more ways to win. If you select three matching numbers from the one to 70 pool, you win $10. Four matching numbers wins you $500 and five matching numbers earns you a cool $1 million dollars. That's a pretty sweet deal for only having to pay two dollars for a ticket.


However, the odds of winning some serious money in the lottery are incredibly slim. The odds of you winning the jackpot are 1 in 302.6 million according to the Mega Millions website. The odds of winning the Powerball, Mega Millions' major competition in the lottery business, are only slightly better at 1 in 292.2 million.

According to CNN Money, the odds of winning Mega Millions are 2,000 times less likely to occur than being killed by a lighting strike or earthquake. But no matter the odds, everyone has a chance to win as long as they play.