The Massachusetts Megabucks Lottery used to be a key game within the State lottery organisation.
Available in Massachusetts, though there are some concierge and betting services which offer this lotto.
How it Works
Date and time of draws
Draws for the Massachusetts Megabucks take place on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 11.20 ET.
No. of balls and how to hit the jackpot
This is a fairly simple lottery with players choosing just 6 balls from a pot of 49.
There is a 'doubler' variation as with many US lotteries but it is free for 1 in 10 tickets and doubles all prizes except the jackpot.
Price, Tickets & Sales
Tickets cost just $1 per line and the doubler option is a bonus that happens for 1 in 10 tickets.
Tickets Sold Per Draw
This is a small lottery that has passed its heyday. It sells around 200,000 tickets per draw and this number doesn't change too much week in week out. As with many US lotteries, the main state lottery has declined significantly in recent years, having been replaced by new customer favourites such as the Powerball and Megamillions. But these two aren't growing as fast as scratchcards and other keno type games. The Megabucks lottery now makes up just 0.5% of the lottery organisation's sales.
Sales per draw
As you'd expect from a game that is in (terminal?) decline, sales per capita on this lottery are a tiny 0.02 which makes it even loss popular per person in Massachussetts than its equivalent in New York - the New York Lotto.
Odds of hitting the jackpot
The prize table is pretty simple with prizes awarded just for 3, 4, 5 and 6 correct picks.
The odds of hitting the jackpot are lowish at 1 in 13m.
Balls and Bonus Balls
*Average jackpot size when it is hit
Odds of winning any prize
The odds of winning any prize are pretty poor at 1 in 50, which is similar to the Australian lottery games. That said, though, the Australian lotteries tend to sell more tickets per player per draw (e.g. minimum purchase requirements on the Powerball) and so the low frequency of win is 'felt' less in Australia than in Massachusetts. The lowest tier prize is just 2x your stake so, overall, not much regular 'joy' on this lottery.
The minimum jackpot guaranteed is very small at $500k. Also, it doesn't grow instantly from this figure either but needs several weeks for ticket contributions to exceed the minimum in order for it to start rolling over.
The average jackpot if you're playing on subscription is around $3m.
Average jackpot when hit
When hit the Massachusetts Megabucks jackpot is likely to be around $6m.
Highest jackpot ever
The biggest jackpot ever won on the Megabucks was $21m, still heralded on their site today even though this was 30+ years ago.
Jackpot winners per year
With low sales volumes on this game you wouldn't expect to see many more than 1 or max 2 jackpot winners per year.
Contribution to the jackpot
With an average jackpot growth per draw of just $80,000 you wouldn't expect the contribution of stakes to the jackpot pool to be as high as 40% of stakes, which it is. But only once the minimum guaranteed amount has been 'covered'.
Return to Player
55% is the stated figure of prizes returned to players. This sort of tallies with our overall numbers but with jackpots representing such a high % of prizes, your own return to player RTP will vary considerably, depending on when you play.
RTP when first seeded
When first seeded, your RTP is very low at 0.21.
If you happen to play regularly your RTP is 0.42.
RTP when jackpot typically hit
If you wait until it's more likely to be hit (and also more valuable) then your RTP is around 0.6.
If you're lucky enough (or patient enough) to wait until the jackpot hits $20m then you may get a bit of value if you choose to take the prize as an annuity.
Payouts and Taxes
Annuity vs Cash
Advertised jackpots are based on an annuity rather than cash. The value of a jackpot paid out in cash can be between 60% and 80% of the advertised 'annuity' value.
Taxes are levied at 30% (25% federal and 5% state).
At a more likely figure of $12m the Massachusetts Megabucks looks to be a value 'bet' but not if you consider taxes, the annuity vs cash deductions and the chances too of sharing your jackpot. At $19m, if you don't mind taking it over 30 years as regular annual payments, then you may get a bit of value. Set your jackpot alert to $20m but don't expect this to happen any time soon.
Inexpensive and good contributions to the jackpot pool as a % of stakes.
Too many to list here really. It has declined in popularity for a reason (or several reasons): chances of getting any win each week, low seeding, low jackpot growth (a function of its popularity more than anything), fair RTPs in principle except that they're annuity based and taxable. In urgent need of a revamp.