There can be no doubt that the US Powerball and the Mega Millions are the biggest lotteries in the world. Not only are they wildly popular in the USA, but players around the world buy US lottery tickets online every week for a shot at some of the big jackpots they offer.
But how do they stack up against each other?
The games are very similar, so it comes down to the small differences that set them apart. Let’s begin by comparing their starting jackpots. The US Powerball is famous for having the biggest starting jackpot at a massive $40 000 000, while the Mega Millions has a smaller starting jackpot of $15 000 000. However, neither jackpots are capped which means they will keep rolling over until someone picks the winning lotto numbers.
You may not know the Mega Millions held the top spot for the world’s biggest jackpot for four years. It wasn’t until the format of the Powerball underwent some changes that it was able to set a new record. News of the $1 600 000 000 Powerball jackpot spread around the world and with each roll over, more people were lining up to get their hands on a ticket for this historic draw. But four years ago, the Mega Millions hit an incredible $656 000 000, becoming the first lottery to break the half-a-billion dollar ceiling.
Of the top ten biggest jackpots in history, the US Powerball holds seven places while the Mega Millions makes up for the rest. Even the biggest EuroMillions winner can’t compete with the big Powerball and Mega Millions winners because its jackpot is capped at €190 000 000. So it’s no wonder that so many people are drawn to play US lottery games.
Even their rules are similar. To play the Powerball, players must choose five main numbers from 1-69 and one Powerball number from 1-26. For the Mega Millions you’ll need to pick five main numbers from 1-75 and one Mega Ball number from 1-15. You can imagine how such a large pool of numbers would affect your odds of winning a jackpot for either of these two lotteries.
Your odds of matching six numbers for the US Powerball stand at one in 292 201 338, while for the Mega Millions they slightly better at one in 258 890 850. It’s only when your overall odds for winning any prize are compared that a winner emerges. Your chances of winning a Powerball prize are one in 24.87; while for the Mega Millions you have a one in 14.71 chance of winning a prize. So for those players who prefer lotteries with better odds, the Mega Millions is the obvious choice between the two.
The two lotteries also mirror each other when it comes to their prize categories. Both have a total of nine prize divisions (including the jackpot). And both offer a players a guaranteed second division prize of $1 000 000. Over the years, these two lotteries have created hundreds of instant millionaires. To win this prize, you’ll need to match five main Powerball or Mega Millions numbers. It’s simply another reason why these lotteries have gained such loyal players.
When it comes to taxes, both lotteries are subject to the laws of the US where lottery winnings are regarded as a form of income. All winnings over $5000 will be incur federal and state taxes. The federal tax for US citizens is 25% while non-US citizens will have 30% of their total prize money withheld. State taxes also vary as some states do not levy an additional tax on lottery winnings, while tickets bought in New York are eligible for the highest rate of state tax at 8.83%.
At the end of the day, there are few differences between the US Powerball and the Mega Millions. While the Mega Millions offer better odds, the US Powerball has bigger jackpots. They’re both exciting to play and could make you rich beyond your wildest dreams. So why choose when you buy US lottery tickets online for both of them.