The Mega Millions jackpot is now at $1.6 billion and climbing as more and more people buy tickets. This is one of the largest jackpots in U.S. history, right up there with the $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot from 2016. This is also the largest jackpot in Mega Millions’ history. If you’re playing, you’ll likely want to pull out all the stops to try to win. Although the winning numbers are drawn completely at random, there are still some tips or tricks that some people like to use. Whether or not these actually help, they still might be worth trying. The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 302,575,350.
Here’s How to Play
You can play just by purchasing a $2 ticket. The drawing is on Tuesday and Friday nights at 11 p.m. Eastern, and most states shut down ticket sales 15 minutes to an hour beforehand. (Find out exactly what time your state shuts down sales in Heavy’s story here.) You might try a couple of different retail locations, and you can find a list of the retailers nearest you in Heavy’s story here.
To play, pick five numbers from 1 to 70 and a Mega ball number from 1 to 25. You can also pick a Megaplier, which can increase your wins. You’ll have the choice of either picking your own numbers or doing a “quick pick” where the numbers are picked for you at random.
Check Out Which Numbers Are Drawn the Most
Although numbers are drawn purely randomly, some people like to pick numbers based on which ones have been drawn the most in the past. In the last 100 drawings, 1 was drawn the most frequently (18 times), then 2 (12 times), and then 11 times each for 14, 17, 42, 70, 11, and 32. Read more in Heavy’s story here.
Pick Some Numbers Yourself & Don’t Just Rely on Quick Picks
The numbers are drawn randomly, but as CNBC points out, if you’re buying a lot of tickets, don’t just rely on quick picks. It’s impossible to assure that you won’t get any duplicate sets of numbers. (They noted that for Powerball, if you bought 20,000 Quick Pick tickets, you’d have a 50/50 chance of getting duplicate tickets.)
Richard Lustig, who has won a lottery seven times, told CBS News that he believes picking your own numbers increases your chance of winning.
Pick Higher Numbers If You Don’t Want To Split the Pot
This is a huge jackpot, so splitting the winnings will still leave you with a lot of money. But if you’d rather not win if it means splitting the jackpot, then focus on picking numbers higher than 31. That’s because a lot of people tend to choose numbers based on dates important to them, and dates don’t go past 31.
Don’t Play the Bigger Jackpots
Because more people want to join the fun when a jackpot gets huge, like this one, you might actually end up with a bigger win if you play the smaller jackpots. CNN reported that your per-ticket earnings are actually smaller if you purchase tickets during huge jackpots because more people are playing, so your odds of sharing the jackpot are much higher.
All Odds or All Evens Are Drawn Less Frequently
Statistically, your odds of winning Mega Millions doesn’t change, no matter what numbers you pick. But Lotto Numbers did find that in all draws since 1996, the winning jackpot consisted of all odd numbers only 50 times, and all even numbers only 65 times.
Some People Like To Pick the Most-Overdue Numbers
Lotto Numbers also reports on which numbers are most overdue to be drawn. They say that 53 was last drawn 153 days ago, 36 was drawn 149 days ago, 55 was drawn 142 days ago, 58 was drawn 142 days ago, 5 was drawn 128 days ago, and 37 was drawn 125 days ago.
As far as Mega Balls go, 5 was drawn 324 days ago, 24 was drawn 261 days ago, and 22 was drawn 160 days ago.
None of these techniques are guaranteed to help you win, because your odds are technically the same no matter which numbers you choose. But these techniques might be fun to try for the largest Mega Millions jackpot ever.