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What does it mean to have multiple draws on Mega Millions?

Having multiple draws on Mega Millions refers to when the jackpot is not won and rolls over into the next drawing. This results in the jackpot continuing to grow as more people play trying to win the ever-increasing prize. Mega Millions drawings are held twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays. If no one matches all 5 white balls plus the Mega Ball in a drawing, the jackpot rolls over to the next drawing. This means there are now multiple draws where the jackpot is available to be won.

How does the Mega Millions jackpot roll over?

The Mega Millions jackpot starts at $40 million and continues to grow based on sales of tickets for each drawing. The jackpot increases by a minimum of $5 million between rolls. So if no one wins Tuesday’s drawing, the Friday jackpot will be at least $5 million higher. If no one wins again on Friday, the next Tuesday jackpot will be at least another $5 million higher. This rolling over process continues until the jackpot is finally hit. The more consecutive rolls without a winner, the bigger the jackpot grows each time.

What is the record for consecutive Mega Millions rolls?

The record Mega Millions jackpot roll was 41 consecutive draws without a winner from April 22, 2022 to July 29, 2022. This resulted in the jackpot reaching the staggering amount of $1.337 billion for the July 29th drawing. The previous record was 36 consecutive rolls from March 27, 2018 to July 24, 2018 when the jackpot hit $543 million.

What are the odds of multiple jackpot rolls?

The odds of the Mega Millions jackpot rolling over depend on the number of tickets sold and how many people match some or all of the numbers correctly. The overall odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 302,575,350. The more tickets sold, the more likely it is someone will match all the numbers. But since the odds are so long, it’s not unusual to see jackpots roll over multiple times before being won. For instance, there is a 49.7% chance of 4 rolls in a row based on sales trends. The odds increase to 90.8% chance of a roll for 10 consecutive draws.

How high can the jackpot go?

There is technically no limit on how high the Mega Millions jackpot can grow. The jackpot will continue to increase by at least $5 million for each roll until someone finally wins it. However, excessively long jackpot rolls are unlikely due to the law of large numbers. As a jackpot grows very large, it tends to generate greater ticket sales. More ticket sales make it increasingly probable that someone will finally match all the numbers. So while jackpots could theoretically climb infinitely high, the natural tendency is for rolls to be limited to 10-15 consecutive draws before a winner.

What determines how quickly the jackpot grows?

The Mega Millions jackpot grows based on ticket sales and rolls overs. There are two key factors that impact the rate at which a jackpot increases:

  • Tickets sales – The more tickets purchased for a drawing, the faster the jackpot grows. Higher jackpots tend to result in more ticket sales as people want a chance at the big prize.
  • Rollovers – Each roll adds $5 million minimum to the jackpot. More consecutive rolls without a winner means faster growth between drawings.

These two elements work together. More rolls increase the jackpot, which drives more ticket sales, which leads to faster growth, and so on. Mega Millions also allocates a portion of each ticket sale to the jackpot fund which supplements the guaranteed increases.

What’s the highest the jackpot has ever been?

The current record Mega Millions jackpot is $1.537 billion from the October 23, 2018 drawing. The winner was a sole ticket sold in South Carolina. The previous record was a $656 million jackpot split by winners in Illinois, Kansas, and Maryland in March 2012.

Drawing Date Jackpot Number of Rolls Winning State
Oct 23, 2018 $1.537 billion 25 South Carolina
March 30, 2012 $656 million 18 Illinois, Kansas, Maryland
July 29, 2022 $1.337 billion 41 Illinois

As the table shows, the two largest jackpots were the result of multiple weeks of rolls without a winner. This allowed the prizes to climb to unprecedented heights and generate immense interest and ticket sales across the country.

What causes long stretches without a winner?

There are a few reasons why Mega Millions can go many draws in a row without someone hitting the jackpot:

  • Long odds – With odds of 1 in 302 million, it’s not unusual for there to be no winner for 20+ draws.
  • Split prizes – If multiple players match 5+0 or 5+1 numbers, the jackpot is split decreasing the chance it is won outright.
  • Luck – Pure chance means sometimes there are back-to-back streaks without a winner. Other times jackpots are hit after just 1-2 rolls.

While the specific number of rolls varies each time, it’s the long odds of Mega Millions that facilitate jackpots rolling over week after week without anyone taking home the grand prize.

How does a winner on one draw impact the next jackpot?

If the jackpot is won on a draw, the next Mega Millions jackpot resets to the minimum starting amount. So following a win, the next advertised jackpot goes back down to $40 million and then begins growing again based on sales for the next drawing. This minimum reset occurs regardless of the size of the previous jackpot won. So even following a massive $1 billion+ winner, the next Tuesday or Friday drawing starts over at $40 million baseline.

Could there ever be multiple winners?

Yes, it is possible for Mega Millions to have multiple jackpot winners on a single draw. This occurs when multiple players match all 5 white balls and the Mega Ball number. If more than one person wins the jackpot, the prize is split evenly among all the winners. Some notable instances of split jackpots include:

  • March 30, 2012 – Jackpot split 3 ways in Kansas, Illinois, Maryland
  • December 17, 2013 – Jackpot split 2 ways in California and Georgia
  • November 4, 2022 – Jackpot split among 4 tickets in California, Florida, Tennessee

Having multiple winners is rare since the odds of matching all 6 numbers in a single draw are so high. But each additional winner does reduce the amount of prize money awarded to each player. Advertised jackpots are based on the total prize split by a single winner.

Does the number of tickets sold impact likelihood of split pots?

Yes, the odds of a split jackpot go up as more tickets are sold for a particular drawing. With more number combinations covered by players, there is a greater chance of multiple ticket holders matching the winning numbers. Some of the largest jackpots have resulted in split pots due to massive sales inflating the probability of multiples winners sharing the top prize.

How are smaller prizes impacted by jackpot rolls?

Mega Millions has nine prize tiers offering substantial wins besides just the jackpot. While the jackpot captures the most attention and increases with rolls, the other prize payouts remain constant from draw to draw. These include:

  • Match 5+0 – $1 million
  • Match 4+1 – $10,000
  • Match 4+0 – $500
  • Match 3+1 – $200
  • Match 3+0 – $10
  • Match 2+1 – $10
  • Match 1+1 – $4
  • Match 0+1 – $2

Players can win substantial secondary prizes regardless of how high the jackpot grows. And because the odds are more favorable, matching some or all of the smaller tiers is much more common than hitting the grand prize.

Does increased jackpot impact smaller prize odds?

The odds of winning any Mega Millions prizes besides the jackpot remain constant from drawing to drawing. They are not affected by how large the current jackpot has grown. This because the prizes are fixed amounts set by the game regardless of the ultimate jackpot size. However, more ticket sales do increase the likelihood of small prize winners because each ticket has additional chances to match some of the numbers.

Can you win without matching all numbers?

Yes, Mega Millions offers prize tiers for matching partial numbers all the way down to just the Mega Ball number alone. The 9 prize levels are:

Prize Level Match Odds (1 in…) Prize Amount
1 – Jackpot 5 + Mega Ball 302,575,350 Starting Jackpot
2 5 numbers 12,607,306 $1,000,000
3 4 + Mega Ball 931,001 $10,000
4 4 numbers 38,792 $500
5 3 + Mega Ball 14,547 $200
6 3 numbers 606 $10
7 2 + Mega Ball 693 $10
8 1 + Mega Ball 89 $4
9 Mega Ball only 37 $2

As the table shows, players have the chance to win smaller prizes by matching some or even none of the 5 main numbers. Having the Mega Ball number correct greatly improves the odds over just matching the white balls alone at each tier.

How do frequent rolls impact the RTP of Mega Millions?

The Return to Player (RTP) percentage of Mega Millions is 50%. This means statistically $0.50 of every $1.00 spent on tickets is paid back out in prizes on average. However, the RTP can fluctuate based on consecutive jackpot rolls. When the jackpot is small, the RTP may drop to 30-40%. But after extensive rolls without a winner, the RTP can exceed 100% as the jackpot grows large enough to offset lower tier prizes.

Return to Player Rate Variation

Jackpot Estimated RTP %
$40 million 35%
$100 million 45%
$500 million 70%
$1 billion+ 110%+

Frequent jackpot rolls result in a higher overall RTP for players on average. But the downside is periods of reduced returns when the jackpot resets after being won.

Do rolled jackpots see an increase in ticket sales?

Yes, there is a clear correlation between larger Mega Millions jackpots and increased ticket sales. As the top prize continues to roll over drawing after drawing, consumer interest grows steadily. People who would not normally play the lottery are compelled to buy tickets when hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars are at stake. This influx of casual players trying to land a life-changing score is called “lottery fever” and drives exponential jumps in profits for Mega Millions during extended jackpot runs.

Mega Millions Sales Trends

Jackpot Tickets Sold
$200 million 10 million
$500 million 20 million
$1 billion 50+ million

Based on historical data, mega jackpot rolls result in ticket sales spiking by 5-10X over normal volumes. This generates huge profits for Mega Millions and makes the risk of high payouts worthwhile.

Does the jackpot hitting reset ticket sales?

Yes, there is typically a big drop-off in ticket sales following a Mega Millions jackpot win. Interest and media coverage fades quickly once a winner is crowned. Ticket volumes reset close to normal levels for that $40 million minimum reset jackpot. Sales then gradually pick up again as the jackpot starts rolling over week after week. It usually takes several months before a Mega Millions jackpot climbs high enough again to trigger widespread lottery fever and spike revenue streams.


Having the Mega Millions jackpot roll over repeatedly results in tremendous excitement and interest as the top prize continues growing. While long jackpot rolls are driven by the extremely difficult odds, the end result is explosive sales and massive pools. For players, this presents the tantalizing chance to play for hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars. Lotteries also strongly benefit from surge profits generated by jackpot fever. Ultimately, extended rolls without a winner create unique opportunities both for players chasing life-changing payouts and the Mega Millions game itself.