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Powerball vs. Mega Millions: The Lottery That Sells the Most

Powerball vs. Mega Millions: The Lottery That Sells the Most

It’s time for the battle of the giants! Powerball and Mega Millions have been compared so many times. Most of these comparisons focus on the jackpots and the odds of winning. Today, we’ll take a look at another curious fact – the number of tickets these two massive games of luck sell.

The Powerball jackpot has been the largest one in the world (1.586 billion dollars), but the Mega Millions jackpot follows closely. Both of these games have been known to produce numerous millionaires over the years, which makes us wonder how the lotteries perform ticket sale-wise.

Tickets Sold Per Drawing: A Quick Comparison

Before moving on to pick your Powerball numbers or your Mega Millions numbers, you’ll have to decide which one to give a try.

The Powerball prizes and the Mega Millions payouts play a role, but there are also other factors to consider. If you still can’t make up your mind, you may want to check how these two lotteries compare in terms of tickets printed and tickets sold.

The number of tickets sold varies from one drawing to another. Whenever a Powerball drawing is characterized by a very high jackpot (due to several rollovers), there will be an increased interest in the game. The same principle is valid for Mega Millions drawings because the lottery also features progressively growing jackpots.

Most weeks, Powerball outsells Mega Millions, and the more massive jackpots could be partially explanatory of the phenomenon. The Powerball payout is more or less the only factor that contributes to the game’s higher popularity. The Mega Millions odds are slightly better, and the Mega Millions prizes come in the same vicinity as the Powerball Lotto prizes.

Mega Millions, however, does feature lower payouts for the non-jackpot prize tiers than Mega Millions. This could be yet another factor contributing to the discrepancy.

Finally, let’s check out the price of an individual ticket to find out if that offers any explanation of the phenomenon. On all Powerball draw days, a single ticket will cost players two dollars. The regular Mega Millions drawing ticket price is set at two dollars, as well. No difference here!

As you can see, the preferences of lottery fans are determined by just a few differences between the game. While ticket sales statistics do establish a trend, there have been some occasional anomalies.

Some massive jackpot spikes in one of the lotteries or the other have led to a trend reversal. Mega Millions outperformed Powerball in terms of ticket sales on the weeks when the Mega Millions payout was promised to be much higher.

As far as the value of the tickets sold goes, Mega Millions outperforms Powerball. The value of all Mega Millions tickets sold in 2018 was the staggering 4.52 billion dollars. In comparison, Powerball ticket sales over the year totaled 3.79 billion dollars.

Several Massive Spikes Through the Years

Powerball prizes and the size of the Mega Millions payout determine just how many tickets the respective game is going to sell for the daily drawing.

Whenever one of the lotteries offers a massive prize, the number of tickets sold goes through the roof.

In early 2016, the world was excited to find out that the Powerball jackpot had reached nearly 1.5 billion dollars. Everybody could imagine themselves being a Powerball lottery multi-millionaire.

The record-breaking Wednesday drawing witnessed the sale of 371 million tickets. In California alone, 48.5 million tickets were sold over two days. People were queueing in front of retail agencies for a chance to test their luck and secure their future.

Something similar happened in 2018 when the Mega Millions jackpot crossed the one-billion-dollar threshold. The potential for a massive Mega Millions payout incited many to try beating the Mega Millions odds.

At the time, the Mega Millions jackpot had rolled over 25 times. It caused many people to buy large numbers of people, including individuals who had never given the lottery a try before in their lifetime. In the end, however, just one ticket purchased in South Carolina contributed to the selection of the biggest Mega Millions winner in history.

Powerball VS Mega Millions

Breakdown by State

By now, it’s more or less evident that the two largest US lotteries are neck and neck as far as ticket sales go. One final point of analysis that we’d like to take a look at, however, is popularity by state.

Mega Millions tickets are available for purchase in 45 states and jurisdictions. Of these, Connecticut and Tennessee do not provide information about their ticket sales. Out of all others, it’s been established that Massachusetts, West Virginia, Rhode Island, New York, and Delaware have taken the lotto mania to the next level.

In these states, ticket sales per capita are the highest. A Mega Millions drawing there contributes to sales per capita of 225.14 dollars! It’s also interesting to point out that these happen to be the five states that benefit the most from lottery funds. Hence, there could be awareness campaigns and an overall lottery culture in these parts of the US, prompting people to partake in Mega Millions more often.

While the US per capita average for Mega Millions is 71.03 dollars, Rhode Island tops the chart with the highest per capita spending of 349.71 dollars.

Average Powerball ticket sales per capita also paint an interesting picture for the different states.

Rhode Island once again is off the chart. The ticket sales per capita are 39.9 tickets per 1,000 people. Delaware, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Florida come in next. The bottom state as far as Powerball ticket sales are concerned is Washington – only 11.5 tickets per 1,000 people.

As far as overall lottery sales for all lotteries (both national and state) go, New York is the big winner. On an annual basis, tickets worth 9.69 billion dollars are sold there. California follows with 6.28 billion dollars in ticket sales, followed by Florida (6.06 billion dollars), Massachusetts (5.22 billion dollars), and Texas (5.07 billion dollars).

So, should you keep track of Powerball draw days, or should you consider the Mega Millions prizes? That’s entirely up to you. Ticket sale data fluctuates, and the differences between the two largest lotteries aren’t that pronounced. Trust your instinct; check out how much jackpot has accumulated, and good luck!