Virginia Tech expert explains chances of winning record-breaking $1.1B Mega Millions jackpot

You didn’t win Mega Millions. Top prize climbs to $1B

BLACKSBURG, Va. – The jackpot for Virginia Lottery’s Mega Millions has skyrocketed to a record-breaking $1.1 billion, and if you haven’t already, you might be considering grabbing a ticket for your chance to win big.

But what are the odds of winning?

On Thursday, Virginia Tech statistics expert J.P. Morgan explained the chance of winning to put it into perspective.

According to the release, the chance of winning the jackpot is now one in 302,575,350.

“Now, 303 million seems like a pretty big number, but still, it can be hard to think about,” Morgan said. “What does one chance in 303 million really mean?”

To explain the chances of winning, Morgan gave a scenario in which you took the time to enter the Mega Millions until you won.

“Suppose it takes you one minute to fill out a Mega Millions entry form and pay to enter, Morgan said. “Do this every minute, non-stop, 24 hours a day, until you have entered every possible combination. It will take you 575 years to enter them all.”

And if you’re still set on playing, Morgan suggested doing one thing:

“Try to play a number combination that not many other people will play,” Morgan said. “That way, should by some fantastic improbability you win, the pot will not be divided among very many people. That is the only strategy that you can invoke to maximize your winnings. Nothing you can do will increase your chance of winning, but you can try to avoid a split pot.”

Morgan also said you could add a little imagination to your ticket, too.

“Perhaps the best way to play Mega Millions is to play in your imagination. Write down your number combination on a piece of paper, then put it in an envelope with a $2 bill. When the drawing is made, open your envelope. Your combination will not match the winning combination, but you will have $2! That’s two dollars more than if you had actually played.”

The next drawing will be on Friday at 11 p.m.


About the Author:

Alli Graham came aboard the digital team as an evening digital content producer in June 2022.