For those who don’t know, the Mega Millions lottery is a multi-state lottery that you can enter in 43 states plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Each “play” costs $1, with the lottery’s website promising alleged “MEGA fun.”
Though Mega Millions is advertised as a game, there’s not exactly a whole lot of skill involved. To play, you simply pick five different numbers from 1 to 75 and one number from 1 to 15. You can also opt to “Easy Pick” where numbers are chosen for you at random.
Once you’ve locked in your digits, the winning numbers are drawn at 11:00 p.m. ET on Tuesdays and Fridays each week. Different combinations of correct numbers can win you a variety of payouts, from $1 (a 1-in-21 chance) to $1 million (a 1-in-18.5 million chance). Some states also offer a “Megaplier” feature which it costs an additional $1 per play that increases non-jackpot prizes by 2 to 5 times,
To win the jackpot, which is advertised at a minimum of $15 million, you have to match all six winning numbers in a drawing. If no-one claims the jackpot, the jackpot total increases by about $5 million dollars each drawing. If this goes on for several weeks, that bonus can reach hundreds of millions of dollars.
If you’re lucky enough to win the jackpot, you can get your winnings in cash or on a yearly payment plan.