With the Mega Millions lottery jackpot hovering at the $1 billion mark before Friday’s draw, hopefuls are rushing to get tickets in hopes of landing a win in the third largest jackpot ever. While a win of any dollar amount isn’t guaranteed, perhaps chances can be increased by playing the odds of most often drawn numbers.
A popular lottery strategy is for players to choose number of significance to them, such as birth dates and anniversaries. But, with a pool of white ball numbers from 1 to 70, dates may not be the best plan of action.
To play Mega Millions, players pick five different numbers from 1 to 70 (the white balls) and one number from 1 to 25 (the gold Mega Ball). Or, players may opt for machine generated number choices called Quick Pick.
Should you choose to pick your own numbers, the USA Mega reports that the five most popular Mega Million white ball numbers drawn in the last 100 drawings are….7, 21, 40, 3, and 58. The most often drawn gold Mega Ball numbers have been…24, 18, 4, 15 and 1.
For the record, the number 7 is the only Mega Ball number that hasn’t been drawn a single time in the last 100 draws.
While choosing your own numbers will likely give you a sense of earning your prize should you win, it unfortunately won’t increase your odds of winning. The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are 302,575,350 regardless of whether you choose your own number or rely on the machine to pick them for you.
Springfield College Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science Andrew Perry told media that one way to increase your odds of winning a prize is to do the obvious….buy more tickets.
“If you buy 100 tickets, for example, then your odds are about one in 3 million instead of 1 in 300 million. If you don’t want to share the prize, try to pick numbers that aren’t likely to be picked by anyone else,” Perry explained.
The next Mega Millions drawing, which is played in 45 states, will take place Friday night (July 29) at 11 p.m. EST.
Watch the video below to find out what you should do first if you are a big winner.