How Do US Powerball and Mega Millions Compare?

These two lotteries are the biggest in the world, each awarding record-breaking jackpot prizes worth hundreds of millions, and in more recent years, over a billion US dollars! If you’re in Australia, join US PowerLuck and US MegaLuck, which each correspond with the official US Powerball and Mega Millions draws, including the formats, results, and prizes.

While both American draws certainly have a lot in common, there are also key differences, such as the probability of winning, prizes, and more. So the question is, which lottery should you play? Explore our comprehensive comparison between US Powerball and Mega Millions to find out!

What are the Differences Between Powerball and Mega Millions Game Rules?

Overall, the game rules for both US Powerball and Mega Millions are the same. To enter either draws, you must choose five main numbers and one additional number. The only difference between US Powerball and Mega Millions lies within the guess range.

Mega Millions requires five numbers from a guess range of 1-69 and an additional number from 1-26. A US Powerball entry needs five numbers from 1-70 and an additional number from 1-25.

While the difference between the US Powerball and Mega Millions guess ranges may seem small, it is something worth considering, seeing as it will affect your odds of winning.

Below are several additional distinctions between the game rules and formats of the US Powerball and Mega Millions:

Powerball vs Mega Millions

Which Lottery Has Better Odds - US Powerball or Mega Millions?

Both American giants offer players extraordinary jackpots and prizes - so which one is easier to win?

As we mentioned above, the difference between the game matrixes affects your chance of winning. The Mega Millions odds are slightly more challenging to beat compared to the odds of winning Powerball due to the lottery's wider guess range. Explore your odds of winning each prize category below:

Tier Match Mega Millions Odds Powerball Odds


5 + 1








4 + 1








3 + 1








2 + 1




1 + 1




0 + 1



Megaplier and Power Play - Which Prize Multiplier Wins?

Who doesn’t want bigger prizes? US Powerball and Mega Millions both offer prize multiplier features that boost all secondary prize winnings by a certain number of times, depending on the lottery’s game rules.

Powerball's Power Play feature doubles the second division prize to US$2 million and multiplies all other non-jackpot winnings from the 3rd to 9th prize divisions up to 10 times. At the draw, a single ball is drawn from a separate drum with 43 balls consisting of the numbers 2X, 3X, 4X, 5X, and 10X. Prize division winnings from 3-9 will be multiplied according to which number is drawn.

The Mega Millions Megaplier multiplies all secondary prize divisions (2-9) by 5 times their original amount. This includes the US$1 million second-place which can potentially be increased to US$5 million! The Megaplier number is also drawn from a separate drum consisting of 15 balls with the numbers 2X, 3X, 4X, and 5X.

Which prize multiplier wins? This depends on which prize division you match. Overall, US Powerball’s Power Play feature awards bigger secondary prizes compared to prizes boosted by the Megaplier. However, Powerball’s second-place prize can only be doubled to US$2 million while Mega Million’s second-division prize can potentially be increased by 5 times to US$5 million.

Which Lottery Has Bigger Jackpots?

When one thinks of incredible record-breaking jackpots, US Powerball and Mega Millions come to mind! Over the years, these two American lottos have awarded the biggest lottery prizes in the world, with jackpots in recent years soaring past the US$1 billion mark!

Powerball’s US$1.586 billion prize was the first time a lottery prize had ever reached this milestone. In January 2016, three lucky Powerball players, Lisa and John Robinson, The Nickel 94 Trust, and Marvin and Mae Acosta, matched the jackpot prize, netting each US$528 million (before taxes). This unbelievable prize remained a world record for almost seven years!

Mega Millions soon caught up when the jackpot prize reached US$1.537 billion before it was won on 23 October 2023 by an anonymous player from South Carolina. While this may not have broken Powerball’s record at the time, it was the biggest prize ever won by a single lottery player!

As of 2024, the top two biggest jackpots were paid out by US Powerball who awarded a US$2.04 billion jackpot won in November 2022, and a US$1.765 billion top prize won in October 2023. The biggest Mega Millions jackpot worth US$1.602 billion jackpot comes in third place.

It’s important to note that the top 10 biggest US jackpots are split evenly between Powerball and Mega Millions, so whichever lottery you pick to play, you won’t go wrong!

How Else Do US Powerball and Mega Millions Differ From Each Other?

  • Powerball's first draw took place on 22 April 1992, while the first Mega Millions draw was staged on 6 September 1996.

  • Mega Millions offers a play option called Just the Jackpot, which allows players to play solely for the chance of winning the jackpot prize.

  • Powerball offers the Double Play add-on feature, which gives players in certain jurisdictions the opportunity to enter a separate drawing using their Powerball numbers for a top cash prize of US$10 million.

  • Mega Millions draws take place on Tuesdays and Fridays at WSB-TV in Atlanta, Georgia. Powerball drawings are held on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida.

  • Mega Millions is played in 47 jurisdictions, including 45 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Powerball tickets can also be purchased in these jurisdictions, with the addition of Puerto Rico.

Win US Powerball and Mega Millions Prizes from Down Under!

At theLotter Australia, we bring America’s biggest jackpots to you! Take a chance at winning the same amazing prizes with US PowerLuck and US MegaLuck and be sure to check out all of the world lotto games whose tickets you can match from Australia with our corresponding online lottery tickets!

theLotter Australia customers are not purchasing lottery tickets or participating in lotteries directly. theLotter Australia uses third-party agents to purchase lottery tickets; customers are purchasing for the opportunity to receive monies equivalent to prize winnings.