The Difference between Mega Millions & Powerball
When it comes to massive multi-state American lotteries, there are only 2 main contenders to choose from: Let's look which one is better and why?
Although Mega Millions lotto and Powerball lotto are very similar in some respects, they differ in some significant ways, even more so since the rule changes which took place on October 22, 2013.. Which one is better is a matter of preference so here are the facts so that you can decide which one is right for you..
What are the similarities and differences between Mega Millions and Powerball?
Mega Millions and Powerball have several things in common:
- Mega Millions and Powerball are both huge multi-state lotteries with over 40 participating states.
- Mega Millions Lotto and Powerball are both played following a very similar format, with players trying to predict the 6 winning numbers - 5 normal balls drawn from one drum and 1 special Mega Ball drawn from a second drum.
- Both Mega Millions and Powerball have 9 tiers of prizes including the main jackpot. When there is not a winning ticket the prize money rolls over to the next draw, allowing jackpots to accumulate quickly to enormous sums.
- Both Mega Millions and Powerball lotteries have special features which multiply winnings, called the “Megaplier” and “Power Play” respectively. Tickets cost slightly more money but player’s payouts (other than the jackpot) can be doubled, tripled, quadrupled or quintupled based on a number selected at random.
How are Mega Millions and Powerball different?
There are also a number of key differences between Powerball and Mega Millions:
- Mega Millions draws take place on Tuesdays and Fridays and Powerball takes place on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
- The biggest Mega Millions jackpot was for $656,000,000 on March 30th, 2012 which is the 2nd lottery payout in history. The biggest Powerball jackpot ever was $1,600,000,000, occurred on January 13th, 2016 and is the largest lotto jackpot of all time.
- Your odds of winning a Mega Millions jackpot are now 1:259,000,000. Under the old rules the chances of winning were 1:292,201,338. The odds of winning the Powerball top tier prize are 1:175,223,509.
- The chance to win any prize with Powerball is 1 in 38. The chances to win the smallest prize with Mega Millions is 1 in 15.
- The chances of having a prize quadrupled or quintupled with the Megaplier is significantly greater (weighted to 30% each) than through Power Play where each ball has a 25% chance of being drawn.
Which is the better lottery - Mega Millions or Powerball?
As you can see, it is a very close call. We lean towards Mega Millions because the lotteries because under the new rules Mega Millions has better odds of winning big prizes although PowerBall will likely have bigger jackpots. Also the Megaplier is weighted to give you a much better chance of a 4x or 5x multiplier than with Powerball's Power Play. Our verdict is therefore that Mega Millions is the better value lottery over Powerball.