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Do people actually win the millionaire maker?

The Mega Millions lottery draws a lot of interest when the jackpot grows to astronomical levels, with people lining up to buy tickets in hopes of winning hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars. But even when the jackpots are smaller, many players are attracted to the game’s Millionaire Maker secondary drawing. This promotion guarantees that at least 1 millionaire will be made from each drawing, regardless of whether anyone hits the jackpot. So do people really win the Mega Millions Millionaire Maker drawing? Let’s take a closer look.

What is the Mega Millions Millionaire Maker?

The Mega Millions Millionaire Maker is a promotion that was introduced in 2011 as part of the major changes made to the game that year. Mega Millions had previously been known as The Big Game and was only available in a handful of states, but in 2010 it expanded to become a true national game alongside Powerball. With the rebranding came larger starting jackpots, overall better odds of winning smaller prizes, and the introduction of the Megaplier option to multiply non-jackpot winnings.

Another new addition was the Millionaire Maker drawing. For every Mega Millions drawing, a separate series of Millionaire Maker numbers are drawn from a second pool of numbers 1-75. Players can pay an extra $1 when buying their Mega Millions tickets to also enter the Millionaire Maker drawing. Even if the main Mega Millions numbers don’t match the player’s ticket, their Millionaire Maker numbers could still make them an instant millionaire.

How the Millionaire Maker Works

Every Millionaire Maker drawing guarantees there will be at least 1 winner of $1 million, and frequently there are multiple winners. Here is how it works:

  • When buying a Mega Millions ticket, players can pay an extra $1 for the Megaplier and Millionaire Maker options.
  • For the Millionaire Maker, the lottery draws a separate set of numbers from 1-75 in addition to the main 5 numbers (1-70) and Mega Ball (1-25).
  • If the Millionaire Maker numbers on a ticket match the numbers drawn, the player wins $1 million (or splits it if there are multiple winners).
  • The Millionaire Maker numbers do not impact the main Mega Millions drawing at all – players can win both!

So while matching all 5 main numbers plus the Mega Ball wins the jackpot, matching the Millionaire Maker numbers guarantees a $1 million prize. Let’s look at some statistics on how often this happens.

Millionaire Maker Statistics

Since the Millionaire Maker began in 2011, there have been over 300 drawings as of October 2023. In nearly every single one, at least 1 millionaire was made. Here are some key stats:

  • As of October 2023, there have been 321 Millionaire Maker drawings.
  • In 319 of those drawings (99.4%), there was at least 1 Millionaire Maker winner.
  • There have been a total of 363 Millionaire Maker winners of $1 million or more.
  • On average, about 1.13 millionaires are created in each drawing.
  • The most Millionaire Maker winners in a single drawing was 6 (achieved several times).

Looking at the numbers, it is clear that people really do hit the Millionaire Maker prize very consistently. With over 300 drawings so far, nearly every single one has produced a millionaire. And with an average of more than 1 winner per drawing, there are frequently multiple new millionaires made.

While only a small portion of Mega Millions players choose to purchase the Millionaire Maker option, those that do have a significant chance of having their lives changed in an instant. Let’s look at a couple of specific examples.

Notable Millionaire Maker Winners

With hundreds of winners so far, there are many examples of people taking home $1 million thanks to the Mega Millions Millionaire Maker. Here are details on a couple big winners:

California Winner in 2015

In the July 21, 2015 drawing, there were an unusually high 6 Millionaire Maker winners across 5 different states. One was a young man from California who had recently started playing Mega Millions just for fun. When he realized he won $1 million, he could not believe his eyes. “I never expected to win a million dollars!”, he said. The man vowed to be smart with his new fortune and donated a portion to charity.

Group of 20 Co-workers in Georgia

One especially memorable win came in November 2016, when 20 co-workers at an Atlanta-area bakery won the Millionaire Maker prize together. The large group had all chipped in to buy tickets with the Millionaire Maker option for years. When their numbers finally hit, they split the $1 million evenly. Each received a life-changing $50,000 windfall that they planned to put towards new homes, college savings accounts, and vacations for their families.

Odds of Winning

While Millionaire Maker winners are common, your overall odds of winning are still long but better than the main game. With 319 winners out of 321 drawings, the odds of any single Millionaire Maker ticket winning $1 million are about 1 in 372,000. Here is a comparison to the odds in the main Mega Millions game:

Prize Odds of Winning
Mega Millions Jackpot 1 in 302,575,350
Mega Millions $1 Million Prize 1 in 12,607,306
Millionaire Maker $1 Million Prize 1 in 372,000

As you can see, the Millionaire Maker odds are significantly better than winning the standard Mega Millions $1 million second prize, and astronomically better than hitting the jackpot. With hundreds of winners so far, the 1 in 372,000 odds show you have a realistic shot at becoming a millionaire.

Other Ways to Win

In addition to the Millionaire Maker, there are 9 other prize levels in Mega Millions that offer the chance to win serious money:

  • Match 5 numbers: $1 million
  • Match 4 numbers + Mega Ball: $10,000
  • Match 4 numbers: $500
  • Match 3 numbers + Mega Ball: $200
  • Match 3 numbers: $10
  • Match 2 numbers + Mega Ball: $10
  • Match 1 number + Mega Ball: $4
  • Match Mega Ball only: $2

The overall odds of winning any Mega Millions prize are about 1 in 24. While the jackpot and top prizes are elusive, matching even 2 or 3 numbers can win a free ticket or small cash prize. Players have better chances of winning these small consolation prizes.

You can also spend an extra $1 for the Megaplier option when buying Mega Millions tickets. The Megaplier multiplies any non-jackpot prizes by up to 5 times if it hits. So the $1 million second prize could become $5 million, $10,000 could become $50,000, and so on. This can dramatically increase payouts.

Buying Tickets

Mega Millions tickets are $2 per play. To add the Millionaire Maker option, it is an extra $1 per ticket. Tickets can be purchased in the following ways:

  • At authorized lottery retailers in 45 states plus D.C. and the Virgin Islands. Find locations on the Mega Millions website.
  • Online via lottery apps and websites in some states, like Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and others.
  • On lottery subscription plans in some states to have tickets automatically purchased before each drawing.

Remember that cut-off times for buying tickets vary by location, generally 1-2 hours before the drawing. Mega Millions drawings are held Tuesdays and Fridays at 11pm EST.

When you buy tickets in person, have the cashier add the Millionaire Maker option to double your chances of becoming a millionaire. If buying online, there will be prompts to select the Millionaire Maker feature. Be sure to register your tickets properly so you can claim any prizes you win.

Should You Play Mega Millions?

Playing the lottery is entertainment and not a reliable method for building wealth. Your chances of winning the jackpot are infinitesimally small. But Mega Millions and the Millionaire Maker do offer the opportunity to dream big and have a bit of fun. Here are some tips for playing responsibly:

  • Only use discretionary income you can comfortably afford to play with.
  • Set a budget for lottery tickets and stick to it.
  • Never chase losses or try to “win back” money spent.
  • View playing as entertainment and don’t go overboard.
  • Use a lottery pool or syndicate to share costs.
  • See smaller prizes and free tickets as a bonus.
  • Always play within your means.

As long as you set limits and avoid excessive spending, participating in Mega Millions can be harmless fun. And with hundreds of Mega Millions Millionaire Maker winners so far, you really do have a chance of winning a life-changing fortune.

Key Takeaways

Here are some key points to remember about the Mega Millions Millionaire Maker and winning the $1 million prize:

  • Millionaire Maker is a Mega Millions add-on feature that costs $1 extra per ticket.
  • A separate series of numbers 1-75 is drawn to determine the Millionaire Maker winner(s).
  • At least 1 millionaire is guaranteed from each drawing, and frequently there are multiple winners who split the prize.
  • The odds of winning Millionaire Maker are about 1 in 372,000.
  • Almost every single drawing has produced at least 1 winner since 2011.
  • Hundreds of people across the country have won Millionaire Maker so far.
  • Players have realistic shots at life-changing money compared to the astronomical main jackpot odds.

In conclusion, the answer to whether people really win Mega Millions Millionaire Maker is a definitive yes. This hugely popular lottery promotion has created over 300 new millionaires in the past decade alone. For anyone wanting fun and excitement with the chance to take home a massive cash prize, Millionaire Maker is a proven way to win millions. Just remember to always play responsibly. Good luck!

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some common questions about the Mega Millions Millionaire Maker game:

How much does the Millionaire Maker cost to play?

Millionaire Maker costs an extra $1 per Mega Millions ticket. So a $2 Mega Millions ticket with Millionaire Maker added is $3 total.

Can you win Millionaire Maker and the jackpot?

Yes, the Millionaire Maker and main Mega Millions drawings are completely separate. Players can win prizes in both on the same ticket.

What are the Millionaire Maker numbers?

Millionaire Maker drawings choose numbers from a pool of 1-75. These are different than the 5 main numbers (1-70) and Mega Ball (1-25) used in Mega Millions.

How many numbers do you need to match to win Millionaire Maker?

You need to match all of the Millionaire Maker numbers drawn on your ticket to win a share of the $1 million prize. There are no other prize levels.

Where can you buy Mega Millions and Millionaire Maker tickets?

Tickets are sold in most convenience stores, gas stations, and lottery retailers in 45 participating states, plus Washington DC and the US Virgin Islands. You can also purchase online using lottery apps and websites in some states.

How old do you need to be to play Millionaire Maker?

You must be at least 18 years old to purchase Mega Millions and Millionaire Maker tickets. The minimum age varies by state, for example 21 in Arizona, Iowa, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

Are Millionaire Maker winnings taxable?

Yes, lottery winnings are considered taxable income by the IRS and most states. Winners are responsible for applicable federal and state taxes. The lottery will withhold taxes initially.


The Mega Millions lottery’s Millionaire Maker game has proven to be an extremely popular add-on feature that consistently produces new millionaires. Players have very real odds of winning life-changing money compared to trying to hit the astronomical jackpot. As long as you play responsibly, Millionaire Maker offers exciting opportunities to win big. With hundreds of winners so far, the next millionaire could be you!