What Happens If You Only Get the Mega Ball Number Right in Mega Millions?

Playing the lottery is a beloved pastime for millions. As an avid player myself, I completely understand the excitement of watching those lottery balls tumble, hoping your lucky numbers come up. And while we all dream of the massive jackpot prize, there are also ways to win smaller amounts, even if you only match certain numbers or just the Mega Ball.

In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll explain everything you need to know about what happens if you only get the Mega Ball number right in Mega Millions. Whether you‘re a devoted lotto fan or just play casually for fun now and then, you‘ll learn all the ins and outs of winning with the Mega Ball.

How Mega Millions Drawings Work

Before diving into the Mega Ball details, let‘s quickly review how Mega Millions lottery drawings work.

For each Mega Millions drawing held at 11pm EST on Tuesdays and Fridays, five white balls numbered 1 through 70 are drawn from one machine. Then a sixth golden ball called the Mega Ball is drawn from a second machine containing balls numbered 1 through 25.

To play, you choose five different numbers from 1 to 70 for the white balls, and one number from 1 to 25 for the Mega Ball. You can pick your own numbers, or use the Quick Pick option to have the lottery terminal randomly select them.

To hit the jackpot prize, you must match all five white ball numbers drawn, in any order, plus the Mega Ball number. There are also eight other prize tiers for matching fewer numbers.

Now that we‘ve covered the basics, let‘s focus specifically on what happens when you only match that all-important Mega Ball!

You Win \$2 for Matching Just the Mega Ball

If the only number you match in the Tuesday or Friday night Mega Millions drawing is the Mega Ball, you win a prize of \$2!

This \$2 prize is for correctly matching just the Mega Ball, while missing all five white ball numbers.

So even if you don‘t match a single one of the main numbers drawn between 1 and 70, getting the Mega Ball right still wins you a \$2 prize. It‘s not a lot, but it‘s better than winning zilch!

Let‘s look at an example:

• The winning numbers are: 4, 15, 17, 32, 68 and Mega Ball: 22

• You have ticket: 9, 23, 27, 45, 51 and Mega Ball: 22

Even though all your white numbers are wrong, you still win \$2 for matching the Mega Ball!

Why Is There a Prize for Only the Mega Ball?

You may be wondering why Mega Millions even bothers offering a prize for just the Mega Ball. After all, \$2 is pretty insignificant compared to the game‘s huge jackpots.

There are a few reasons why this prize exists:

• It rewards lucky guesses – Matching only the Mega Ball is difficult, with odds of just 1 in 37. Having a small prize provides excitement for the few who beat the odds.

• It encourages playing – Even if you don‘t match any other numbers, you still have a tiny chance to win something. This keeps more people interested in playing.

• Prize money must be distributed – Lotteries have to payout a certain percentage of sales as prizes. The \$2 Mega Ball prize helps allocate more money.

So while it may seem trivial, the \$2 payout for correctly guessing just the Mega Ball serves some important purposes for Mega Millions.

You Can Also Win Bigger Prizes with the Mega Ball

Now here‘s a key fact many people don‘t realize – matching only the Mega Ball doesn‘t just pay \$2. You can win larger prizes too if you match the Mega Ball and also get some of the five main numbers correct:

• Match Mega Ball + 1 Main Number – Wins \$4
• Match Mega Ball + 2 Main Numbers – Wins \$10
• Match Mega Ball + 3 Main Numbers – Wins \$200
• Match Mega Ball + 4 Main Numbers – Wins \$10,000

For instance, let‘s say these were the winning numbers:

4, 15, 17, 32, 68 and Mega Ball: 22

If you matched 4, 15, 32, 68 and the Mega Ball 22, you‘d win \$10,000!

As you can see, adding just one more main number match to the Mega Ball starts increasing your prize dramatically. Matching all five main numbers plus the Mega Ball wins the jackpot!

Odds of Hitting Just the Mega Ball

If you‘re wondering what the odds are of randomly matching just the Mega Ball and no main numbers, it‘s about 1 in 37.

That might sound high compared to the super long odds of 1 in 302 million for the jackpot. But it actually does happen that some people defy the odds and hit only the Mega Ball.

To put it in perspective, a typical Mega Millions drawing will sell around 20 million tickets. Of those, statistically we can expect about 540 tickets to match only the Mega Ball and win \$2.

So while it‘s certainly tough to pull off, a few lucky players will generally hit only the Mega Ball in each drawing.

How the Megaplier Can Boost Your Mega Ball Winnings

One great way you can increase a Mega Ball-only prize from \$2 up to \$10 is by adding the Megaplier option to your ticket.

For an extra \$1 per play, the Megaplier feature multiplies any non-jackpot prizes you win by a factor of 2, 3, 4 or 5 times.

The Megaplier number is drawn separately before each Mega Millions draw. Let‘s look at how it works:

• Say the Megaplier number drawn is 4x
• You match just the Mega Ball, winning \$2
• With the Megaplier, your \$2 prize is multiplied by 4 to \$8!

Having the Megaplier can turn a \$2 win into up to \$10 if the 5x multiplier comes up. It‘s a great way to get more bang for your buck when playing Mega Millions.

Comparing Mega Millions to Other Big Lotteries

To put the Mega Ball-only \$2 prize in context, let‘s see how other popular US and international lotteries pay out for matching a special bonus ball:

• Powerball: Matching just the red Powerball wins \$4. Up to \$50,000 if matched with 1 main number.
• EuroMillions: Matching just the Lucky Stars number pays a minimum of €2.50.
• UK National Lottery: No prize for matching only the Bonus Ball. Must match 2 main numbers.

So Mega Millions is on the lower end with its \$2 payout. But it still rewards players better than games like the UK Lottery that offer nothing for the bonus ball alone.

Examples of Mega Millions Payouts

Let‘s look at a couple real-life examples of Mega Ball payouts, to see the prize differences in action:

Example 1

• Tuesday Drawing on 5/24/2022
• Winning Numbers: 7, 13, 14, 15, 18 Mega Ball: 9
• You match: Mega Ball 9 only
• Prize Won: \$2

Example 2

• Tuesday Drawing on 8/30/2022
• Winning Numbers: 7, 9, 18, 24, 25 Mega Ball: 22
• You match: 9, 18, 25 + Mega Ball 22
• Prize Won: \$10,000

This clearly shows how matching more numbers in addition to the Mega Ball dramatically increases the prize amount.

Helpful Tips for Mega Millions Players

If you want to maximize your chances of winning a Mega Millions prize, large or small, here are my top tips as an avid player:

• Stick with your favorite numbers or use the Quick Pick
• Take advantage of the Megaplier when available
• Join an office or online lottery pool
• Play consistently for more chances to win
• Double check your ticket to avoid missing a prize!

With a sound strategy and some luck, you could be the next Mega Ball match winner.

Claiming Prizes and Handling Taxes

If you are fortunate enough to win a Mega Millions prize, be sure to sign the back of your winning ticket right away and keep it very safe until you‘re ready to claim. For any prize over \$600, you‘ll need to visit an authorized state lottery office and provide ID and tax paperwork.

All winnings are subject to federal taxes, taken out immediately before you receive your prize. State taxes may apply too depending on where you live and play. Don‘t worry though, the lottery office can guide you through the entire prize collection and tax process smoothly.

The Takeaway: Mega Ball Equals Mega Excitement!

While the Mega Ball alone pays just a \$2 consolation prize, matching it along with main numbers can earn you a life-changing fortune! Even without other matches, correctly guessing the Mega Ball still provides a thrill for the lucky few who beat the 1 in 37 odds.

So next time you have a Mega Millions ticket in hand, pay special attention to that Mega Ball. Getting it right could just make your day, or change your life! I hope this guide gave you a helpful overview of how winning with the Mega Ball works. Now get out there, play boldly, and may all your lottery dreams come true!