The US with the Mega Millions or Europe with the EuroMillions!?
In the world of big-time lottery jackpots, you have two similar lottery draws from two different continents. On one corner of the world, you have the EuroMillions, and on the other corner you have the Mega Millions. How do these two stack up against one another?
EuroMillions was first launched on February 7th, 2004 and the only countries that participated at the time were France, Spain, and the UK. By October 2004, Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal, and Switzerland joined in. The drawings are held every Tuesday and Friday night at 20:45 CET in Paris.
Mega Millions has a more complex beginning than the EuroMillions. Before the Mega Millions became a thing, the US had a game called “The Big Game” where only 6 states (Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Virginia) participated in. This launched in 1996. In 1999, New Jersey joined in on the game. In 2002, Ohio and New York also joined in when the game was renamed to “The Big Game Mega Millions.” When the Mega Millions game had become an official game, three other states joined in: Washington in 2002, Texas in 2003, and California in 2005.
The drawings are held in Atlanta, Georgia, and they are drawn every Tuesday and Friday at 11:00 p.m.
2. Ticket Price
A EuroMillions standard ticket will cost €2.00, £2.00 or CHF3.00 per line played, depending on the local currency. (An option, called Plus, currently available only in Ireland and Portugal, adds €1.00 per line; and a new (as of February 2014) non-optional addition called “My Million” in France adds €0.50 per line).
A Mega Millions ticket costs only $1 per play.
3. The Odds
The odds of winning the jackpot on the EuroMillions are about 1 in 116,531,800.
The odds of winning the jackpot in the Mega Millions are about 1 in 258,890,850.
4. Largest Jackpot Ever Won
The largest jackpot ever won from the EuroMillions from a single ticket was for €190 million by Adrian and Gillian Bayford from Suffolk, England back in 2012.
The largest jackpot ever won from the EuroMillions from a syndicate was won by 12 bus drivers in Corby, Northamptonshire shared the prize of £38,034,639.70.
The largest jackpot ever won from the Mega Millions from a single ticket was for $319 million in 2011.
The largest jackpot ever won from the Mega Millions that was shared among others was for $656 million in 2012, and it was shared by three ticket holders, one in Illinois, Kansas, and in Maryland.
5. Who Can Play?
You do not have to be a US citizen to play the Mega Millions online, but a US citizen cannot play the EuroMillions online, because online gambling is illegal in the United States. A US citizen can play the EuroMillions if they are visiting one of the countries.
In terms of payouts, the Mega Millions by far outshines the EuroMillions! However, to be able to win that massive jackpot is another story. Nine countries may play the EuroMillions, but they have much better odds—but at a higher cost.
When it comes down to it, both games have their positives and negatives. If you live in the US, you are stuck with the Mega Millions (unless you plan on traveling to Europe any time soon. But then you still have to contend with taxes when you come back to the states). If you live in Europe, you can play both games and double your chances of winning.