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How many Mega Millions have been won?

The Mega Millions lottery is one of the biggest multi-state lottery games in the United States. It is played in 45 states as well as Washington D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Mega Millions holds the record for the largest jackpot in lottery history at $1.537 billion won on October 23, 2018. With giant jackpots and millions of people playing across the country, Mega Millions has produced many big winners over the years.

How Mega Millions Works

To play Mega Millions, players select five main numbers between 1-70 and one Mega Ball number between 1-25. The price per ticket is $2. Players can multiply non-jackpot prizes with the Megaplier option for an additional $1 per play. Mega Millions drawings take place every Tuesday and Friday evening at 11 p.m. ET. Jackpots start at $40 million and grow based on game sales and rolls. The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 302.6 million.

Mega Millions By the Numbers

Since Mega Millions began in 2002, there have been more than 620 drawings and hundreds of millions in prizes awarded. Here is a numerical breakdown of Mega Millions jackpots and winners:

  • Jackpots awarded: 52
  • Largest jackpot: $1.537 billion on 10/23/2018
  • Total jackpot prizes awarded: Over $94 billion
  • Average jackpot: $156 million
  • Highest number of jackpot winners for a single draw: 3 winners on 3/30/2012
  • Total jackpot winners: 24 (Note: Some winners remain anonymous)
  • States with the most jackpot winners: 5 winners in California, 5 winners in New York

Noteworthy Mega Millions Jackpots

While there have only been 24 winning jackpot tickets in Mega Millions history, several stand out for their massive payouts. Here are some of the biggest Mega Millions jackpots:

  • $1.537 billion – Won on 10/23/2018 by a ticket sold in South Carolina. This remains the largest lottery prize ever won on a single ticket.
  • $656 million – Won on 3/30/2012 by three winners in Kansas, Illinois and Maryland who split the prize.
  • $648 million – Won on 12/17/2013 by two winners in California and Georgia.
  • $543 million – Won on 7/24/2018 by a ticket sold in California.
  • $536 million – Won on 7/8/2016 by a ticket sold in Indiana.

The next ten largest Mega Millions jackpots are:

Jackpot Amount Draw Date Winning State
$451 million 1/5/2018 Florida
$437 million 1/1/2019 New York
$414 million 3/18/2014 Florida
$393 million 8/11/2017 Illinois
$390 million 3/6/2007 Georgia
$380 million 1/4/2011 Idaho
$378 million 7/31/2018 California
$370 million 5/17/2019 Wisconsin
$363 million 5/15/2018 New Jersey
$340 million 10/19/2018 Florida

Frequency of Mega Millions Jackpot Wins

On average, the Mega Millions jackpot is won twice per year. However, there have been some long stretches without a jackpot winner. The longest Mega Millions has gone without a jackpot win is:

  • 38 consecutive draws without a winner from April 28, 2017 to October 13, 2017

This resulted in a whopping $393 million jackpot won on August 11, 2017 in Illinois. Other significant Mega Millions jackpot rolls include:

  • 37 rolls leading to $656 million jackpot split on March 30, 2012
  • 29 rolls leading to $536 million jackpot on July 8, 2016
  • 26 rolls leading to $1.537 billion jackpot on October 23, 2018

The fewer number of winners per year and longer stretches without a jackpot win help Mega Millions build giant prizes. But it also means going long periods without anyone taking home the top prize.

When Jackpots Are Most Likely to Be Won

Mega Millions jackpot wins are spread out fairly evenly over the calendar year, with a slight increase around the end of the year as jackpots rise leading up to the holidays and New Year’s Day. Here’s an overview of when Mega Millions jackpots have been won by month:

Month Number of Jackpots Won
January 5
February 2
March 4
April 2
May 3
June 2
July 3
August 3
September 1
October 2
November 1
December 5

December, January, and March have produced slightly more Mega Millions jackpot winners than other months. However, a winning ticket could be sold any day the game is played.

States With the Most Jackpot Wins

In Mega Millions history, some states have had significantly more jackpot wins than others. California and New York lead with 5 Mega Millions jackpots each. Here are the states with multiple jackpot wins:

State Number of Jackpots Won
California 5
New York 5
New Jersey 3
Illinois 2
Kansas 2
Georgia 2
Florida 2

The following states have had 1 Mega Millions jackpot win: Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, Maryland, Massachusetts, Washington, Texas, Idaho, Indiana, South Carolina, Wisconsin.

The number of winners often comes down to population size. More populous states like California, New York, and Florida see more jackpot winners simply because more players are purchasing tickets. But some less populated states like Idaho, Kansas, and South Carolina have defied the odds with jackpot wins.

Most Common Mega Millions Jackpot Numbers

While Mega Millions numbers are drawn randomly, some numbers have come up more frequently in jackpot-winning combinations than others. The most common Mega Millions jackpot numbers are:

  • Mega Ball number: 7 (7 times)
  • Main number: 31 (5 times)
  • Main number: 46 (4 times)
  • Main number: 33 (4 times)
  • Mega Ball number: 9 (4 times)

The least common Mega Millions jackpot numbers are 48 for the main numbers and 12 for the Mega Ball number – each has come up only once. Even though certain numbers have hit more in jackpot wins historically, every number has an equal chance in each drawing.

Biggest Mega Millions Jackpot: $1.537 Billion

The largest Mega Millions jackpot in history was a whopping $1.537 billion won on October 23, 2018. The winning ticket was purchased in Simpsonville, South Carolina at the KC Mart convenience store. One lucky player matched all 5 white balls and the Mega Ball number to take down the world record jackpot.

The winning numbers on 10/23/2018 were:

  • White balls: 5, 28, 62, 65, 70
  • Mega Ball: 5

The holder of the winning ticket chose the cash option of $877,784,124 instead of annuity payments. This remains by far the biggest jackpot not only in Mega Millions history but in all U.S. lottery history. And with Mega Millions continuing to grow more popular, it’s only a matter of time before a new record jackpot is hit.

Recent Mega Millions Jackpots

While Mega Millions jackpots aren’t won as frequently as lower tier prizes, big jackpots are still hitting. Here is a summary of the most recent Mega Millions jackpots won:

  • $516 million – Won on 5/21/2021 by a ticket in Pennsylvania. Rolled 29 times.
  • $494 million – Won on 10/14/2022 by a ticket in California. Rolled 40 times.
  • $426 million – Won on 1/28/2022 by a ticket in California. Rolled 25 times.
  • $410 million – Won on 6/9/2020 by a ticket in Arizona. Rolled 24 times.
  • $370 million – Won on 5/17/2019 by a ticket in Wisconsin. Rolled 25 times.
  • $451 million – Won on 1/5/2018 by a ticket in Florida. Rolled 25 times.

As these recent jackpots show, Mega Millions continues churning out massive jackpot winners. It may take many weeks for the jackpot to build up, but eventually a lucky ticket matches all six numbers for a life-changing payout.

Advice for Winning the Mega Millions Jackpot

The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are incredibly long at 1 in 302.6 million. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take home the top prize. Here are some tips to increase your chances:

  • Buy multiple tickets – more tickets equals more chances to win
  • Join an office or pool to afford more tickets and number combinations
  • Use random number selection methods like Quick Picks
  • Don’t only play popular numbers like birthdays – mix it up
  • Purchase tickets when the jackpot is high to have better odds
  • Always check your ticket after the drawing to catch any winner

Even with the right strategy, winning the Mega Millions jackpot requires an immense amount of luck. But giant jackpots are there for the taking, even for casual players. Out of the hundreds of millions of people that play Mega Millions, someone has to win eventually!

Frequently Asked Questions

How many Mega Millions jackpots have been won?

In total, there have been 52 Mega Millions jackpots awarded since the game began in 2002. On 24 occassions, a single ticket matched all six numbers to win the jackpot. There have also been 3 instances when the jackpot was split between 2 or 3 winning tickets.

What was the very first Mega Millions jackpot?

The first Mega Millions drawing was held on May 17, 2002. The starting jackpot was $15 million and rolled 5 times before being won. The very first jackpot was $41 million, split by 2 winners in Illinois and Michigan on June 7, 2002.

Has anyone ever won the Mega Millions twice?

In the game’s history, there has never been anyone win the Mega Millions jackpot twice. The odds of winning it once are so incredibly long, that winning it twice is basically impossible.

What is the biggest Mega Millions jackpot that went unclaimed?

There has never been an unclaimed Mega Millions jackpot. For massive jackpots, states generally provide the winner 6 months to 1 year to claim the prize anonymously. All 24 jackpot winning tickets have been claimed within the required time periods so far.

Can you remain anonymous if you win Mega Millions?

In most states, Mega Millions winners can remain anonymous if desired. States allow jackpot winners 6-12 months to claim winnings confidentially. However, a handful of states require names and photos be published publicly.

Has a Mega Millions jackpot ever increased to $2 billion?

No Mega Millions jackpot has ever reached $2 billion, although it seems inevitable someday based on growing ticket sales. The record Mega Millions jackpot is still the $1.537 billion won in October 2018. The next billion dollar jackpot could roll any time now.


Mega Millions has produced some of the biggest lottery jackpots the world has ever seen. Although winning occurs infrequently, the game has awarded over $94 billion since 2002. Jackpots frequently roll into the hundreds of millions before a lucky player or group of players finally matches all six numbers correctly. With Mega Millions jackpots starting higher than ever before, it’s only a matter of time until more massive billion dollar prizes are up for grabs. Playing consistently and strategically gives you the best odds to become the next Mega Millions jackpot winner!