If you’re watching the Mega Millions drawing tonight, you may find that you matched only two numbers that were drawn. Does this mean you won something, even if you didn’t win the big jackpot? Yes, if you match two Mega Millions numbers during the drawing, this means that you will walk away with some money, but you won’t win the jackpot. However, you will only win some money if you matched a yellow ball and a white ball. Matching two white balls won’t get you any winnings. Here are more details.
If you match a yellow ball and a white ball during tonight’s drawing, then you will walk away with $4, according to Mega Millions’ rules which you can read here. That’s enough to buy yourself two more tickets for $2 each in the next jackpot. But if you only match two white balls and don’t match the yellow ball, you won’t win anything. A lot of people match two of the white balls and get excited until they realize that they won’t be getting anything that way.
There are several other ways you can win tonight. In order to win tonight’s jackpot, you’d need to match all five white balls and the yellow Mega ball. If you match all five white numbers only, you’ll win $1 million (and more if you’re using a Mega plier option.) If you match 4 white and the yellow, you’ll win $10,000. If you match 4 white only, you’ll win $500. If you match 3 white and 1 yellow, you’ll win $200. If you match 3 white only or if you match 2 white and 1 yellow, you’ll win $10. If you match one yellow ball (which is the last number drawn), then you’ll win $2. But if you only match one white number, then you also won’t win anything tonight.
The odds of winning Mega Millions are 1 in 302.6 million, which are actually less than the odds of winning the Powerball, which is 1 in 292.2 million. Mega Millions recently changed its rules in October 2017, making the odds of winning the big jackpot lower (they used to be 1 in 258.9 million.) On October 28, 2017, Mega Millions increased the cost of buying a ticket from $1 to $2. They increased the starting jackpot to $40 million, and changed the play structure. Instead of picking five numbers out of 75 and 1 number out of 15, players now pick five numbers out of 70 and and 1 out of 25.
When someone eventually does win the jackpot, it will take a while before we find out their identity (if ever.) Some states allow a few weeks to claim a prize and other states allow winners to take up to a year to claim them. And some states allow winners to stay anonymous. And as for the states that don’t — well, those rules might be changing soon, thanks to a recent Powerball jackpot winner in New Hampshire. Although New Hampshire rules allow people who win games like Powerball to take up to a one year from the draw date to claim their prize, New Hampshire law also requires the winner’s name, town, and amount won be available for public information. The winner was able to file a lawsuit and stay anonymous while claiming the winnings through an anonymous trust even though they had originally signed their winning ticket with their name.