The Mega Millions lottery jackpot has grown significantly and it’s now at $475 million for the next drawing on Tuesday, May 18. The drawing is at 11 p.m. Eastern. If you match one, two, or three Mega Millions numbers, how much do you win? Here is everything you need to know about the rules.
If You Match One Number, Here’s What You Win
You don’t get much if you only match one number, and depending on the color you matched, you might not win anything at all.
If you only matched one white number, then you haven’t won anything tonight. If you matched one yellow ball (which is the last number drawn), then you’ll win $2. You can put that money into buying one more Mega Millions ticket, which costs $2 each.
If You Match Two Numbers, Here’s What You Win
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.
If You Match Three Numbers, Here’s What You Win
If you match 2 white balls and 1 yellow ball, you’ll win $10, according to Mega Millions’ rules which you can read here. If you match 3 white balls, you’ll also win $10. This is one of the few times in the rules where matching yellow or white doesn’t change the amount of money that you walk away with. It’s not much, but it’s enough to more than reimburse the cost of your ticket. Or you can put those winnings into buying more tickets and playing in the next lottery.
How the Megaplier Works
If you bought a ticket with the Megaplier option (in states where this is available), then it will increase non-jackpot prizes by up to five times as much, depending on what the Megaplier drawing. The Megaplier option costs $1 more per ticket.
Fifteen Megaplier balls are in the drawing, five with 2X, six with 3X, three with 4X, and one with 5X. This will increase any of the winnings above if you get the Megaplier. For example, matching one yellow ball normally wins you $2. But if you have a Megaplier of 2, then your one yellow ball match is now worth $4, and it’s worth $10 if you had a Megaplier of 5.
And yes, the Megaplier applies all the way about to matching five white balls. So if you have a Megaplier of 5 and match five white balls for $1 million, you’ll actually win $5 million.
Other Ways to Win
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.
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 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 also 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 1 out of 25.