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Mega Millions Jackpot Statistics

Topic closed. 16 replies. Last post 13 years ago by dvdiva.

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Jake649's avatar - scene sunovermountains.jpg

Canada
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November 2, 2003
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Posted: November 14, 2003, 8:35 am - IP Logged

When the Mega Millions Lottery was introduced, replacing The Big Game, there was an expectation that it would create much larger jackpots than was produced with the Big Game. So far, the larger jackpots have not materialized.

I was curious if the number of jackpot wins was close to the expected value. I have made some calculations and will present them here in case others are also interested. Also, I wanted to see if the numbers will change significantly after Texas joined the Mega Millions group.

The draws used in the calculations start with the first Mega Millions draw on May 17, 2002 with a $27 million jackpot and end with the recent $70 million jackpot on Nov 11, 2003.

The average bi-weekly jackpot was $41 million. The average jackpot size, using the value of the jackpot when it was won, was $61 million.

The number of jackpot wins was 22. This includes the multiple win on Nov 11, 2003 (the only occurrence of a multiple Mega Millions win).

I do not know what the actual sales were per draw, so I estimated the sales based on the number of tickets that only matched the Mega ball and the number of tickets that matched only 3 normal numbers. An average of the two results was used to estimate the sales. The total estimated sales were $2,375.6 million. The expected number of winners was 17.6.

The actual number of winners was 4.4 more than the expected value, an increase of 25%. This explains, in part, the lower than expected jackpots.

The PowerBall lottery has been more successful in producing larger jackpots. Since the format was changed on Oct 6, 2002, the average jackpot size, using the value of the jackpot when it was won, was $103 million (69% larger than the Mega Millions average).

Good luck,
Jake

    visiondude's avatar - eye3logo
    light on my feet
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    Posted: November 14, 2003, 8:46 am - IP Logged

    all i know is what i remember them saying in their advertizements as they were changing from the big game to mega-millions.

    they said ;  "with an average jackpot of $80 million and jackpots reaching $500 million".        so far,  neither has materialized.

    i am sure that my "disappointment" will fade once i pick up that cardboard check.

      myvisionsureisntmadeoutofemptypromisesandcardboard

                "i am .........."meant to"       

    P.S.,  that RJoH  is a stand up guy.  thanks,  vision

             until further notice,  it's  france everyday

      Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
      Chief Bottle Washer
      New Jersey
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      Posted: November 14, 2003, 10:41 am - IP Logged

      On the positive side, maybe it means that Mega Millions players are luckier than Powerball players!

       

      Check the State Lottery Report Card
      What grade did your lottery earn?

       

      Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
      Help eliminate computerized drawings!

        fja's avatar - gnome1

        United States
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        Posted: November 14, 2003, 11:49 am - IP Logged

        I think your counting the last jackpot hit as 3 jackpots, I only have 20 jackpots being hit (last one counts as 1 jackpot hit).  average pot size 63.8 million / average hit after 8 rollovers. Average number of tickets that cover all 5 of the white balls is 6 per draw. Which means that at most there is a 12% average of someone hitting the jackpot on every draw. I show only 5 jackpots that have gone over 100 million.

        But then who's counting.

        "Everybody has to believe in something...I believe I'll have another beer!"   = W.C.Fields                      

          Jake649's avatar - scene sunovermountains.jpg

          Canada
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          Posted: November 14, 2003, 3:08 pm - IP Logged

          fia,

          You are correct on the average jackpot size (when won). I rechecked my calculations and the average should be $64 milion. Thanks for pointing it out.

          The number of jackpots won was 20 but the total number of winning tickets was 22. I used the later number to compare to the expected number of winners. Just like one can expect no winners on some draws, one also must expect there to be multiple winnners on other draws.

          The current jackpot would have to grow to $400 million for the average to reach $80 million. The value that was predicted when Mega Millions was launched.

          Good luck,
          Jake

            kbcherokee's avatar - buffalo2
            Virginia
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            Posted: November 14, 2003, 4:59 pm - IP Logged


            Visiondude:


            If you need help holding that cardboard check, just give me a call... (wink)


            I may need a couple of covered wagon's to haul my  . All $500 million of it...


            Chief

            May the warm winds of heaven blow softly upon your house. May  the Great Spirit bless all who enter there. May your mocassins make happy tracks in many snows. And may the rainbow always touch your shoulder.

              Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
              Chief Bottle Washer
              New Jersey
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              Posted: November 14, 2003, 8:23 pm - IP Logged
              Quote: Originally posted by Jake649 on November 14, 2003



              ...The current jackpot would have to grow to $400 million for the average to reach $80 million. The value that was predicted when Mega Millions was launched...






              I don't agree.  They stated that it would get that high ($400 million) once every couple of years, not consistently.

               

              Check the State Lottery Report Card
              What grade did your lottery earn?

               

              Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
              Help eliminate computerized drawings!

                dvdiva's avatar - 8ball

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                Posted: November 15, 2003, 12:11 am - IP Logged

                maybe they were off by a zero or forgot the decimal point in their adds what they really meant was a cash value from 8 to 50 million not 80-500.

                the biggest problem with mega is there are too many people live in the mega area and its going to get worse with texas. i predict the pots will get even lower because of this. remember that the big game excluded ohio, new york and washington state (though wa. is kind of small) and now adding texas is really bad. even though the odds are bad at 180 million its too easy for the 100+ million people living there it hit the prize. i know that our lottery in washington has complained that the sales are low (compared to powerball) and its all about the jackpot size. powerball has broken 200 million both last year and this year and has come close to 200 again. both in 2002 and 2001 it broke 300 million.

                by contrast mega which has fewer white balls (but more mega/powerballs) has had very small jackpots and has never broke 200 period. in fact it got upto 180 last year and 150 this year. almost half of the jackpots that powerball offers and our state (and i'm sure other states) are complaining about the resulting low sales because like it or not large pots = more sales and low pots = low sales.

                after all if you wanted to win around 10 million or less you would be much better off playing a state lottery. i plan on playing the oregon state lottery and its only 20 million. but when you compare the odds (1:6 million) to the prize its a good ratio. the biggest problem with megamillions is the prize is always less than the odds.

                  Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
                  Chief Bottle Washer
                  New Jersey
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                  Posted: November 15, 2003, 12:29 am - IP Logged

                  dvdiva,

                  Again, I respectfully disagree.  Only time will tell what happens after Texas joins, but my opinion is the jackpots will grow quicker and larger.  We should definitely revisit this topic 6 months from now.

                   

                  Check the State Lottery Report Card
                  What grade did your lottery earn?

                   

                  Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
                  Help eliminate computerized drawings!

                    visiondude's avatar - eye3logo
                    light on my feet
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                    Posted: November 15, 2003, 8:41 am - IP Logged

                    thanks chief,  but it will only take three people to hoist the cardboard check.  my CPA,  my tax attorney and my estate attorney.  i am not good at math but i know the check won't get any heavier just because they add one more zero on the check than has previously appeared.  now if they switch to a personal jumbotron, i will call on you.

                    BTW, is there a company out there that makes an armored covered wagon?

                      myvisionisalreadyarmored

                                "i am .........."meant to"       

                    P.S.,  that RJoH  is a stand up guy.  thanks,  vision

                             until further notice,  it's  france everyday

                      fja's avatar - gnome1

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                      Posted: November 15, 2003, 8:45 am - IP Logged

                      I agree with Todd , I think the Jackpots may not exceed the expectations of $400 million but, I believe that Mega will reach and break $100 a lot faster than it has been...besides I can't see where the megaball people havent done a study on this yet.  I Bet that right now lottery sales done come close to covering 30% of the numbers possible.

                      "Everybody has to believe in something...I believe I'll have another beer!"   = W.C.Fields                      

                        Jake649's avatar - scene sunovermountains.jpg

                        Canada
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                        Posted: November 15, 2003, 10:38 am - IP Logged
                        Quote: Originally posted by Todd on November 14, 2003



                        Quote: Originally posted by Jake649 on November 14, 2003



                        ...The current jackpot would have to grow to $400 million for the average to reach $80 million. The value that was predicted when Mega Millions was launched...





                        I don't agree.  They stated that it would get that high ($400 million) once every couple of years, not consistently.




                        Todd,

                        I think you misunderstood my statement.

                        My opening statement was that the predicted jackpot average when the game was launched was $80 million. The current average jackpot size (when won) is $64 million. My main point in my last post was that the predicted average can still be met.

                        If the current jackpot is not won until it reaches $400 million, then the new jackpot average will be $80 million; the predicted amount. Also, this being the first time the jackpot reaches $400 million and the game has been around for about 2 years will match their other prediction for frequency of very large jackpots.

                        In summary, my point is, that even though Mega Millions has not matched current expectations, it is only one series of rollovers away from matching predicted expectations.

                        Good luck,
                        Jake

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                          Posted: November 15, 2003, 11:30 am - IP Logged

                          Qoute  from the MM website:

                          *In May of 2000, the game made worldwide headlines when it offered the largest jackpot - $363 million - in North American history.*

                          http://www.megamillions.com/aboutus/game_history.asp

                            Bradly_60's avatar - disney37
                            Atlantic Mine, Michigan
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                            Posted: November 15, 2003, 11:34 am - IP Logged

                            I will have to agree with the fact that jackpot rollovers will be better, maybe even equal to that of Powerball's.  But when you are adding a state that has over 20,000,000 people that is going to be a lot more tickets bought per drawing.  Not only that since Texas will be the only South Central state offering the game and it boarders 3 or 4 other states there will be a lot of boarder hoppers when the jackpot gets to a decent level.  I say that the highest jackpot we will see will not be higher than the highest jackpot we have seen until today.  I would expect a change in the game soon after Texas joining.  By the way when do they join?

                            But besides that look what would happen if they changed the number of balls:

                            Number of white balls:                    Number of Mega Balls:                    Number of Combos:                   

                                          55                                                  55                                            191,331,855

                                          60                                                  60                                            327,690,720

                                          55                                                  60                                            208,725,660

                                          60                                                  55                                            300,383,160

                            So just by adding a few numbers they can increase the odds from the 1 in 130 million it is now to almost 1 in 330 million.  Now with odds like that there is only a small doubt that we wouldn't hit the $500,000,000 they once projected.  But if you bring the odds of winning that higher, lower prizes would definetly have to change.  No measly 2 dollars for beating odds of 1 in 70 to match only the Mega Ball. 

                              Jake649's avatar - scene sunovermountains.jpg

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                              Posted: November 15, 2003, 4:01 pm - IP Logged
                              Quote: Originally posted by Bradly_60 on November 15, 2003



                              ........  By the way when do they join? ...... 





                              The first Mega Millions draw for which players can buy tickets in Texas is Dec 5, 2003.

                              Jake