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How to increase your chances of winning the Mega Millions jackpot

With a $1.6 billion Mega Millions jackpot up for grabs Tuesday night, lottery players across the country are no doubt looking for any edge they can get.

Disclaimer: Your odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are 1 in 302,575,350, no matter which numbers you pick or where you buy your tickets.

Mathematicians say the simplest way to increase your odds is to buy more tickets.

Think about it: Two tickets give you twice the chance (though your odds are still minimal), and buying 100 million tickets would give you a 100 million chances (but you could still lose, and lose $200 million in the process).

Whatever you do, don’t overspend.

Mega Millions reminds players that gambling can be addictive and very damaging.

The information below is presented solely for entertainment purposes only, and the E.W. Scripps Co. is not responsible for any losses incurred by using the following tips.

Most Frequently Drawn Numbers

The website LottoNumbers.com has analyzed all 2,235 Mega Millions draws since the first draw on September 6, 1996, and determined which Mega Millions numbers have been drawn most frequently. Mega Millions picks numbers from two pools: the first five are drawn from numbers 1 through 70, and the last ball is drawn from 1 through 25. To win the jackpot, you must pick all six winning numbers.

The most-frequently drawn Mega Millions numbers are:

  • 2 – drawn 219 times
  • 17 – drawn 218 times
  • 31 – drawn 218 times
  • 39 – drawn 214 times
  • 4 – drawn 212 times
  • 46 – drawn 212 times

The website also has a list on the most “overdue” numbers – the numbers which have gone the longest without being drawn:

  • 36 – last picked 153 days ago
  • 55 – last picked 146 days ago
  • 58 – last picked 146 days ago
  • 5 – last picked 132 days ago
  • 37- last picked 129 days ago
  • 50 – last picked 108 days ago

As any roulette player knows –a number being picked more or less frequently has no bearing on the likelihood it will be picked next. Statistically, every number has the same chance of being drawn next.

‘Luckiest’ Lottery Vendors

Ohio has had 19 Mega Millions jackpot winners since 2003, according to lottery officials. Officials provided the following list of the Cleveland-area stores that have sold a jackpot-winning ticket, who won and how that ticket was sold:

  • Tuesday, March 12, 2013: $41 million winning ticket sold at Deli 4 Less, Westlake. Manual pick ticket. This prize was claimed in trust by John P. Thomas, trustee of The March Madness Trust. The ticket holder chose the cash option.
  • Friday, Aug. 5, 2011: $99 million jackpot prize sold at Speedway in Jefferson, OH. The win was claimed by a work pool from KraftMaid in Middlefield. Auto pick ticket. The group chose the cash option.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2010: $25-million jackpot prize sold at Marc’s #67 in Broadview Heights, OH. The win was claimed by the Gravina Island Trust, Matthew F. Kadish, trustee. Auto pick ticket. The winner chose the cash option.
  • Friday, Jan. 6, 2006. $15 million jackpot sold at Chuck’s Carryout, Norwalk. Winning ticket claimed by Providence Blind Trust, John E. Rosino, trustee. Manual pick ticket. The winner chose the cash option.
  • Friday, June 3, 2005. Emery Food Mart, Warrenville Heights. $106 million jackpot prize claimed by The Kevin G. Robertson Declaration of Trust, Kevin G. Robertson, trustee. Auto pick ticket. The winner chose the cash option.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2003. Rebecca Jones-Jemison of South Euclid wins $162 million. Ticket purchased at Quick Shop Food Mart, South Euclid. Manual pick ticket. The winner chose the cash option.

Tips from a Lottery Winner

One of the biggest lottery authorities is Richard Lustig, the Florida man who claims he won seven lottery jackpots. He is now getting rich — not from lotteries — but from his book, “Learn to Increase Your Chances of Winning the Lottery.”

If you don’t want to spend the money for his book, he has some basic suggestions:

  • Play the same numbers every drawing (but read why some experts say this is bad advice).
  • Never buy fewer than 10 tickets.
  • If they are random numbers, buy them in a row and from the same machine.
  • Set a budget, and do not exceed it, no matter how big the drawing.
  • Never spend your rent or grocery money on tickets.

However, it is now easier than ever to go over budget, due to more and more states accepting credit cards.

Until recently you had to line up in a convenience store and bring plenty of cash with you to buy a ticket. But states are now making it easier than ever to buy tickets, by allowing you to buy them with a credit card, minus the line.

WCPO’s John Matarese contributed to this report.

With a $1.6 billion Mega Millions jackpot up for grabs Tuesday night, lottery players across the country are no doubt looking for any edge they can get.

How to Win the U.S. Mega Millions 5/70 According To Math

Last updated on October 18, 2020

To win the U.S. Mega Millions, players must choose five numbers from 1 to 70 and one Mega Ball from 1 to 25. Mega Millions was previously a 5/75 game, so various changes have taken place since then. Perhaps, the most exciting change is the increase in jackpot prize from $15 million to $40 million.

However, the government will not introduce changes to make the game much easier to win. So, let’s talk about how the current format of the U.S. Mega Millions affects your odds of winning the jackpot prize from a mathematical perspective.

Table of Contents

The Odds Of The US Mega Millions 5/70

The current Mega Millions’ 5/70 game format can have a total of 12,103,014 playable combinations. Therefore, your odds of matching five correct numbers is 1 in 12 million chances. But to win the jackpot prize, you have to match the extra mega ball too by choosing a number between 1 to 25. This requirement pushes the odds to a monumental one on 302.5 million chances.

The odds can mean both good news and bad news.

First of all, the bad news:

With its current format of 5/70, winning the main jackpot prize is harder than ever. The odds before was 1 to 259 million. But now, it’s 1 to 302.6 million.

In plain English, you have to play 303 million times to win the jackpot when you used to have 260 million attempts in the old format. Of course, the odds from the old and the current are both terrible. The current one is just the worst in the history of Mega Millions.

Then, the good news:

It is much easier now to win a five number match without the mega ball. In the old format, the odds for the second-tier prize was 1 to 18 million. Now, with the 5/70, it’s 1 to 12.6 million.

So to win the second prize division, you only need to attempt 13 million times as opposed to 18 million. That’s a big improvement. Right? Well, not quite. Although we recognize that there’s a significant difference, the odds are still monumental.

The promise of a minimum $40 million jackpot sounds fair enough with the current rules. But whether that is good news or bad news is up to you, depending on your objective.

Either way, I recommend that you play the U.S. Mega Millions with the right type of combinations. As always, Lotterycodex uses the power of combinatorial math and probability theory to separate the bad, the worst, the good, and the best type of combinations. Please check out how Lotterycodex calculator works for more information.

Let me introduce some of these number patterns for the new U.S. Mega Millions 5/70 game below:

Odd-Even Number Patterns in Mega Millions 5/70

Pattern Possible Combinations Probability
5-odd-and-0-even 324632 0.026822409690677
4-odd-and-1-even 1832600 0.15141682889898
3-odd-and-2-even 3894275 0.32176076141034
2-odd-and-3-even 3894275 0.32176076141034
1-odd-and-4-even 1832600 0.15141682889898
0-odd-and-5-even 324632 0.026822409690677
12103014 1

Further, we can classify these odd-even patterns into three groups:

Best Group Middle Group Worst Group
3-odd-2-even 4-odd-1-even 5-even-0-odd (All even numbers)
2-odd-3-even 1-odd-4-even 5-odd-0-even (All odd numbers)

Clearly, the table above shows that the 3-odd-2-even and the 2-odd-3-even number patterns put you in a better position to win.

As you can see, the “all-even-number” pattern appears three times in every 100 draws. Whereas, the 3-odd-2-even appears approximately 32 times. The difference in probability is so apparent and self-explanatory.

Therefore, the statement that each number combination has equal chances of getting drawn in the lottery is a mistake. The table above can attest to that. See my post: Top 10 Lottery Strategy Myths Debunked.

So, if you play the U.S. Mega Millions 5/70 game, you don’t want to waste your money on poor combinations. (See my post Lottery Wheel Versus Number Pattern)

Testing Probability Against the Actual U.S. Mega Millions 5/70 Results

At the time of writing, there were only 237 draws to analyze as of February 2020. Even with that limited number of draws, we can say it’s big enough to come up with a conclusive comparison between the actual graph and theoretical graph.

The probability analysis we have done with other lotteries show substantial evidence that theoretical calculation and actual results both agree together. This fact holds with the Mega Millions and other lottery games. That is the power of logical reasoning using the probability theory. Math remains a powerful guide on how to win the Mega Millions.

Below are the graphs we have prepared to show the agreement between probability prediction and actual Mega Millions draws. The data were from October 31, 2017, to February 4, 2020, which composed of all the winning numbers from 237 draws:

Mega Millions 5/70 Odd-Even Analysis – Prediction Versus Actual Results
Mega Millions 5/70 Low-High Analysis – Prediction Versus Actual Results

Here’s a little task you can do:

Together, let’s watch the outcome of the U.S. Mega Millions for the next 1000 draws. You tally the odd-even patterns from the actual results. After you reach the 1000 draws, go back to this article and compare the table with the tally of your own. I’ll bet you will believe with your own eyes that math never fails.

Our probability analysis of the old U.S. Mega Millions 5/75 format is solid proof that math works.

How to compute the expected frequency of each pattern in 1000 draws?

The expected frequency is computed by multiplying the Probability by 1000 draws.

Expected Frequency = Probability x 1000 draws

In the case of 3-odd-and-2-even patterns with the probability of 0.32176076141034, the expected frequency will be 322.

Following the same computation for the rest of the patterns, we will arrive at the complete prediction table below:

Likely Results Of the U.S. Mega Millions for Odd/Even Number Patterns in the Next 1000 Draws

Pattern Probability Expected frequency
in 1000 draws
5-odd-and-0-even 0.026822409690677 27
4-odd-and-1-even 0.15141682889898 151
3-odd-and-2-even 0.32176076141034 322
2-odd-and-3-even 0.32176076141034 322
1-odd-and-4-even 0.15141682889898 151
0-odd-and-5-even 0.026822409690677 27

Can you see the difference?

The Lotterycodex Patterns – the Best and the Worst Combinations in Mega Millions

There’s more to Mega Millions than simply odd and even combinations.

Looking deeply into the structure of a 5/70 lottery game, you will discover layers of intricate patterns that tell you which ones are best and which ones are useless.

That is where mathematics is beneficial. My probability study shows 56 patterns in the 5/70 Mega Millions.

Of 56 patterns in Mega Millions, four have a high probability of occurring, and 28 have a very low likelihood, which you must avoid.

Best Group Middle Group Worst Group
Patterns #1, #2, #3, #4 Patterns #5 to # 28 Patterns # 29 to # 56
4 patterns 24 patterns to avoid 28 patterns to avoid

From the table, the best patterns in Mega Millions are patterns #1, #2, #3, and #4.

If you pick numbers randomly, your combination might fall into one of the worst types.

I can imagine that many players waste their money on combinations such as the following:

The combinations above are examples of combinations with an inferior probability of occurring in a 5/70 lottery game like the Mega Millions.

And there are millions of these types. The problem, you never know if your combinations belong to this group.

As a 5/70 lotto player, your objective is to win. Indeed, to win the game, you should not choose a combination that will not likely occur in any draw.

Knowing the best types of combinations to play is very important. And we use math to achieve this objective.

I want to discuss these advanced patterns with you. Please check out my Free Guide: The Lottery and the Winning Formula According to Math.

How To Win The Mega Millions 5/70 Game

Can you imagine how much money you are putting in to go down the drain?

Just because the lottery is fun doesn’t mean it’s a legitimate reason to waste money. So play the lottery for fun. But do it with a strategy, and playing will be much more fun that way.

Here are my recommendations:

Focus on the best types (patterns #1, #2, #3, #4) and avoid the worst patterns (there are 28 of these). If you’re not especially good at math, Lotterycodex has a lottery calculator for you. It comes with a special program that generates combinations for you and separates the best, the fair, and the worst type of combinations. It’s a one of a kind lotto number generator that will make your game much more fun.

Along with a solid strategy, there are other things you should consider when you play. One of them is to make sure you play the lottery responsibly. Implement a lottery game plan to keep your spending going beyond your means.

Moreover, anyone could be at risk of lottery addiction problem. Like I said earlier, the lottery is just a fun game. Your gambling losses are merely the price of a good time, in much the same way as cinema tickets are the cost of the entertainment.

How to Win the U.S. Mega Millions 5/70 According To Math Last updated on October 18, 2020 To win the U.S. Mega Millions, players must choose five numbers from 1 to 70 and one Mega Ball from 1