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Mega Millions: What are the odds of winning the jackpot and other prizes?

The billion-dollar lottery ticket was sold in Illinois, but there are numerous other prizes on offer from the recent Mega Millions draw.

Update:
What are the odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot?
JEENAH MOONREUTERS

After months of rollovers we finally have a winner of the Mega Millions lottery. One lucky player in Illinois purchased the jackpot-winning ticket at a Speedway gas station in Des Plaines, bagging them the $1.337 billion top prize.

“We are thrilled to have witnessed one of the biggest jackpot wins in Mega Millions history,” said Pat McDonald, the current Lead Director for the Mega Millions Consortium. “We’re eager to find out who won and look forward to congratulating the winner soon!”

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The gargantuan jackpot is a result of endless rollovers with no winning ticket sold for the twice-weekly draw since mid-April. The Mega Millions lottery requires players to choose five numbers between 1 and 69, and one additional number, the Mega Ball, from 1 to 26.

To win the top prize players must select all six numbers correctly, at odds of 302,575,350 to 1. For context, the likelihood of an individual getting struck by lightning in any given year is roughly one in a million. Winning the Mega Millions jackpot is 300 times less likely than being hit by lightning.

What other prizes are there to win in the Mega Millions draw?

Entry for the Mega Millions lottery begins at $2 per ticket and participants can still take home some serious money even if they miss out on the full six numbers. Here’s a full list of the ways to win and the odds of winning…

Five balls and the Mega Ball – Jackpot, 1 in 302,575,350

Five balls - $1,000,000, 1 in 12,607,306

Four balls and the Mega Ball - $10,000, 1 in 931,001

Four balls - $500, 1 in 38,792

Three balls and the Mega Ball – $200, 1 in 14,547

Three balls - $10, 1 in 606

Two balls and the Mega Ball - $10, 1 in 693

One ball and the Mega Ball - $4, 1 in 89

The Mega Ball - $2, 1 in 37

With nine different ways to win the likelihood of winning something from the Mega Millions lottery is actually fairly high. The overall chance of winning any prize is 1 in 24.

The size of the jackpot varies between draws, but each new jackpot always begins at $20 million. If no one claims a win for that draw, then the $20 million jackpot is ‘rolled over’ and increased for the next draw. As was the case with the recent billion-dollar draw, the jackpot can become huge if there is a run of draws without a winner.

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