What Does Matching 3 Numbers Pay In Mega Millions?

Winning the Mega Millions jackpot is a dream for many lottery players. The chance to take home hundreds of millions of dollars inspires people to purchase tickets and try their luck. While matching all six numbers is rare, players still have chances to win smaller prizes by matching some of the numbers drawn.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: matching 3 numbers in Mega Millions pays $200 if you match 3 of 5 white balls and do not win any prize money if you match 3 of 5 white balls plus the Mega Ball number.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explain the Mega Millions game, the odds of winning, and exactly what matching 3 numbers pays in Mega Millions.

We will also provide some tips and strategies for playing the game.

How Mega Millions Works

Mega Millions is a popular multi-state lottery game that offers players the chance to win big jackpots. Here’s a breakdown of how the game works:

Drawing Format and Prize Levels

The Mega Millions drawing takes place twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays, at 11:00 PM Eastern Time.

During each drawing, five white balls are randomly selected from a pool of 70, and one yellow Mega Ball is drawn from a pool of 25.

To win the jackpot, players must match all five white balls in any order, as well as the Mega Ball. However, there are also several other prize levels for matching fewer numbers.

The prize amounts vary depending on the number of white balls matched, as well as whether the Mega Ball is matched.

For example, matching just the Mega Ball alone guarantees a prize of $2. Matching two white balls and the Mega Ball pays out $10, while matching three white balls without the Mega Ball pays $10 as well.

The payout for matching three white balls and the Mega Ball is currently $200.

Odds of Winning

The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are quite challenging, with a probability of 1 in 302,575,350.

However, the odds of winning any prize in the game are much more favorable. The overall odds of winning a prize are approximately 1 in 24.

So, while the chances of winning the jackpot may be slim, there are still plenty of opportunities to win smaller prizes in Mega Millions.

Whether you match just one number or all five numbers, playing the game adds an element of excitement and anticipation to your lottery experience.

What Matching 3 Numbers Pays

When playing Mega Millions, matching three numbers can still yield a significant payout.

While it may not be the jackpot, it is definitely worth celebrating! Let’s take a look at what matching 3 numbers pays in this popular lottery game.

Matching 3 of 5 White Balls

If you match three out of the five white balls drawn, you can expect a decent prize.

The exact amount you win will depend on the total number of winners and the overall prize pool for that particular drawing.

Typically, matching 3 of the 5 white balls can pay anywhere from $10 to $500, which is certainly a nice sum of money!

Matching 2 White Balls and the Mega Ball

In addition to matching three white balls, there is another way to win by matching 2 white balls and the Mega Ball. This combination can yield an even higher payout.

Similar to matching 3 white balls, the exact amount you win will depend on the total number of winners and the overall prize pool.

On average, matching 2 white balls and the Mega Ball can pay around $200 to $1,000 or more.

It’s important to note that the prize amounts mentioned here are approximate and can vary depending on the specific drawing.

To get the most accurate and up-to-date information on prize payouts, it’s always a good idea to check the official Mega Millions website or your local lottery retailer.

So, while matching 3 numbers in Mega Millions may not make you an instant millionaire, it can still provide a nice boost to your bank account.

And who knows, it could be the stepping stone to even bigger wins in the future!

So, don’t forget to check those tickets and see if you’ve matched 3 numbers in the latest Mega Millions drawing. Good luck!

Tips for Playing Mega Millions

Playing the Mega Millions lottery can be an exciting and potentially life-changing experience. With the chance to win millions of dollars, it’s no wonder that so many people try their luck.

If you’re interested in playing Mega Millions, here are some tips to help you increase your chances of winning:

Check the Jackpot Size

Before you decide to play Mega Millions, it’s important to check the current jackpot size. The jackpot can vary greatly from one drawing to another, so it’s important to know what you’re playing for.

By checking the jackpot size, you can decide if it’s worth playing or if you should wait for a larger jackpot.

You can find the current jackpot size on the official Mega Millions website or through various news outlets that cover lottery news.

Join an Office Pool

One popular strategy for playing Mega Millions is to join an office pool. This involves pooling your money with colleagues or friends to purchase more tickets.

By doing so, you increase your chances of winning without having to spend a large amount of money.

Additionally, playing as part of a group can make the experience more enjoyable and exciting.

Just make sure to establish clear guidelines and agreements with your fellow pool members to avoid any misunderstandings.

Use Quick Pick

If you’re unsure about which numbers to choose, consider using the Quick Pick option. Quick Pick is a feature offered by the Mega Millions lottery that randomly selects numbers for you.

While some people prefer to choose their own numbers based on personal significance, Quick Pick can be a convenient and easy option.

Many past winners have used Quick Pick to select their winning numbers, so it’s worth considering as a viable option.

Remember, playing the lottery should always be done responsibly and within your means.

While these tips can help increase your chances of winning, it’s important to remember that winning the lottery is still a matter of luck. So, go ahead, try your luck, and who knows?

You might just become the next Mega Millions winner!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the odds of winning Mega Millions?

The odds of winning the Mega Millions lottery vary depending on the specific prize category. The overall odds of winning any prize in the Mega Millions game are approximately 1 in 24.

However, the odds of matching all five white balls and the Mega Ball to win the jackpot are much lower, with odds of about 1 in 302 million.

It’s important to note that the odds of winning any prize increase as you match more numbers, even if you don’t hit the jackpot.

For example, the odds of matching 3 numbers in Mega Millions are approximately 1 in 606, while the odds of matching 4 numbers and the Mega Ball are about 1 in 38,792.

What days are the Mega Millions drawings?

The Mega Millions drawings take place twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays at 11:00 PM Eastern Time.

This means that players have two opportunities every week to try their luck at winning the jackpot or one of the other prize categories.

If you’re planning to play Mega Millions, make sure to check your local lottery retailer for the exact cut-off time for ticket purchases on the drawing days.

It’s also worth noting that some states may have different drawing times or days, so it’s always a good idea to verify the information with your local lottery authority.

Where does the Mega Millions money go when no one wins?

When no one wins the Mega Millions jackpot, the prize money rolls over to the next drawing.

This is why the jackpot can reach enormous amounts, sometimes even exceeding hundreds of millions of dollars.

In addition to the jackpot, the money from ticket sales is used to fund various aspects of the lottery system.

Each state that participates in Mega Millions receives a portion of the revenue, which is then used for various purposes, such as education, infrastructure, and other public services.


Playing the lottery is a fun experience for many, and games like Mega Millions give you a chance to dream big. While the odds of hitting the jackpot are extremely small, matching even just 3 numbers gives you a prize.

With the right strategies and some luck, you could be the next Mega Millions winner.

Remember to always play responsibly. Never spend more than you can afford on lottery tickets. Winning a few dollars from time to time can be exciting without breaking the bank.

Good luck next time you play Mega Millions!

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