Mega Millions has been up and running since 1996, with ever-increasing jackpots and happy winners for the past 25 years and counting. on the eve of one of the biggest Mega Millions draw in history, we celebrate and take a look on how has this game changed over the years and have the updates been for the better?

The biggest Mega Millions Jackpot! $ 1,537 billion

Current Jackpot: $1.02 billion! July 2022

On October 23, 2018, Mega Millions again set an industry milestone with a $ 1.537 billion jackpot; it was only the second time a lottery prize had exceeded $ 1 billion. Since there was only one winning ticket in the draw, sold in South Carolina, it was the largest lottery prize in the world ever won with a single ticket. Compared with Powerball, the largest jackpot in US history which produced the $1.586 billion jackpot on 13th January 2016. The jackpot was split between three tickets sold in California, Tennessee and Florida. In 2022 the jackpot is set to climb and be the third highest jackpot ever seen, with the final draw still undecided.

Counting Down the Mega Millions Top 10 Jackpots

$1.537 Billion


1 Winner South Carolina

$1.05 Billion 22/01/2021 1 Winner Michigan
$656 Million 30/03/2012 3 Winners Illinois/Kansas/Maryland
$648 Million 17/12/2013 2 Winners California/Georgia
$543 Million 24/07/2018 1 Winner California
$536 Million 08/07/2016 1 Winner Indiana
$533 Million 30/07/2018 1 Winner New Jersey
$522 Million 07/06/2019 1 Winner California
$516 Million 21/05/2021 1 Winner Pennsylvania
$451 Million 05/01/2018  1 Winner Florida

How to Increase Your Chances with Lotteries

The Beginning of a New Era

Mega Millions may be a powerhouse now, but its story first began on the 31st of August 1996, with the then title of The Big Game. The first drawing took place on the 6th of September 1996, with just six states eligible for participation: Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan and Virginia.

A Tuesday drawing was added in February of 1998 and Players were given the choice of a “cash payout” option in January 1999. In May 1999, New Jersey became the seventh member to join the big game.

In 2002, the lottery was given the new name of “The Big Game Mega Millions,” New York and Ohio joined in May, followed by Washington in September. The game matrix and prize amounts were also changed to offer players more excitement.

In 2003 the logo for Mega Millions dropped the use of “The Big Game.” Texas joined the team in December 2003. In June 2005, California became the 12th member, making Mega Millions the United State’s most-played jackpot bi-weekly draws.

In March 2007 The Big Game symbol was removed entirely, making Mega Millions the official title. In June 2007 Mega Millions had its biggest jackpot win to date, a $390M win went to 2 tickets bought in Georgia and New Jersey.

On the 31st of January 2010, 23 more states signed up and by 2013 Mega Millions was being played in 42 states, plus the District of Columbia and the U.S Virgin Islands.

On 30th March 2012, Mega Millions made history again with the world’s largest prize to date at $656 million. The jackpot was split between 3 winning tickets in Illinois, Kansas and Maryland. Mega Millions cracked the billion-dollar mark in 2018 after a $1.537B jackpot went to a winner in South Carolina.

On 22nd January 2021 Mega Millions hit beyond one billion for the second time, with a $1.05 Billion going directly to one winner in Michigan, making them the second richest lottery winner in history, landing them a page in the record books. In 2022 the jackpot grew to exceed $1Billion for a third time in July and the crowd is waiting to see what will happen next with bated breath.

The Latest Powerball News & Stats UPDATED January 2022!


Which States Play Mega Millions

State Lottery

Joined Mega Millions


18th April 2010


31st January 2010



22nd June 2005



31st January 2010



16th May 2010



31st January 2010


District of Columbia 

31st January 2010



15th May 2013



6th September 1996



31st January 2010



6th September 1996



31st January 2010



31st January 2010



31st January 2010



31st January 2010



16th November 2011



9th May 2010



 6th September 1996



 6th September 1996



 6th September 1996



 31st January 2010



 30th January 2020



 31st January 2010



 1st March 2010



 20th March 2010


New Hampshire 

 31st January 2010


New Jersey 

 26th May 1999


New Mexico 

 31st January 2010


New York 

17th May 2002


North Carolina 

31st January 2010


North Dakota 

31st January 2010



17th May 2002



31st January 2010



28th March 2010



31st January 2010


Puerto Rico 

Not offered


Rhode Island

31st January 2010


South Carolina

31st January 2010


South Dakota

16th May 2010



31st January 2010



5th December 2003


US Virgin Islands

4th October 2010



31st January 2010



6th September 1996



4th September 2002


West Virginia

31st January 2010


31st January 2010
 Wyoming 24th August 2014


How To Play

In 2022 with the updated rules there are nine different ways to win a Mega Millions prize. Players have a choice of five main numbers plus one extra number from the Mega Ball category. Five different numbers are available from 1 to 70, and the MB number from 1 to 25. You can also select to randomise your numbers using a quick pick to automatically assign numbers to your ticket. You win the jackpot by matching all six numbers in the draw, which includes the normal numbers and the bonus ball.








5 main numbers + Mega Ball




1 in 302,575,350


5 main numbers




1 in 12,607,306


4 main numbers + Mega Ball




1 in 931,001


4 main numbers




1 in 38,792


3 main numbers + Mega Ball




1 in 14,547


3 main numbers




1 in 606


2 main numbers + Mega Ball




1 in 693


1 main number + Mega Ball


1 in 89

Mega Ball $2 1 in 37

Overall chances of winning any prize: 1 in 24


How to collect your winnings

There are two different ways to collect a jackpot category prize, although their popularity varies depending on the player. First, let’s talk about the older method of payment used since Mega Millions began, the Annuity Option: The Mega Millions annuity method is delivered as an immediate first instalment followed by 29 more payments delivered over the span of 29 years, annually. This plan is designed to help winners organise and negotiate their past winnings in times of inflation. Each payment received is lifted to be 5% higher so as to ensure that future winnings keep pace with economic trends.

The Cash Option, first introduced in 1999 is the more popular method of payment chosen by players, mainly because it gives them more flexibility to exercise their winnings as and when they want and choose to invest the money in their own way. A one-time payment is equal to the Mega Millions jackpot prize pool with the final product tax deducted.

The Mega Millions largest prize won with a single ticket to date is the $1.537 billion prize, which is also the largest lottery prize in the world that went directly to a single player. A prize worth $ 1.05 billion was won in Michigan on January 22, 2021. Currently, the third largest jackpot in history has not been claimed for comment in 2022.

Six Mega Millions awards have been won on the spooky day of Friday the 13th. Michigan so far is the luckiest state on that special day, with four jackpot winning awards (June 2008, May 2011, June 2014 and one shared with Rhode Island in October 2017). A jackpot was also won on Friday the 13th in New York in March 2009 and in Ohio in November 2015.

Related News: The biggest unclaimed lottery in history

State Jackpot Winners

All six original states have had multiple Mega Millions jackpot wins and the current logo contains six lucky stars to represent the original founding participants. Beginning in January 2010, the game was extended to include more states and territories, including the Virgin Islands. Since then, jackpots have been won in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. The first jackpot of 2021 was won in Michigan on the 22nd of January. At $1.05 billion, this was the second time the game had ever exceeded a billion dollars. In 2020, two states had their first Mega Millions jackpot winning tickets: both in Arizona and in Wisconsin. Currently, five states do not sell Mega Millions or Powerball tickets in 2022: Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada, and Utah.


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