The 42 ball picked in the Mega Millions lottery on Friday night had not rolled out of the machine since June 21, or 276 days. Considering a ball should roll out about every 88 days, the number was basically due.
That’s what the following charts, updated after each drawing, help you see: which numbers are more likely because either they haven’t been selected in a long time or they’ve been picked the fewest times in the history of the game.
Clearly with 1 in 302.6 million odds every time we play the Mega Millions, there’s no significant way of improving your odds – unless you have millions of dollars to gamble. But if you like to take a bit of luck out of the numbers you select, you can find some options below.
The most frequently drawn Mega Millions numbers
These first two charts look at the more than 560 draws since October 2017, when the game was altered to steepen the odds and raise the likelihood of giant jackpots.
Least likely balls: No. 14 has been picked 56 times, including Friday night’s drawing, while the 17 has been picked three fewer times. The last time 17 rolled out: Nov. 11.
Most likely balls: Nos. 49 and 51 have been selected only a couple of dozen times in the game’s recent history. Their last appearances: March 17 and Dec. 30, respectively.
The most frequently drawn Mega Ball numbers
Among the Mega Balls, No. 22 is the least likely. The last time it rolled out: Jan. 27. No. 8 is more than a percentage point below the expected 4% average; it was last selected Dec. 23.
How long has it been since each number won?
Every number has won in the 100-plus drawings over the past 12 months, but a handful haven’t come up in months, such as Nos. 10 and 27. It hadn’t been since July that Mega Ball 15 won. It rolled out Friday night; now Nos. 3, 10 and 12 are looking good.
Again, just because a number has or hasn’t surfaced in recent weeks doesn’t make it much more likely that it will surface. Or, just because it was picked recently doesn’t rule a ball out either. No. 2 popped up in three consecutive drawings in February.
How often and how recently have the numbers rolled out?
After combining the two charts, the Mega Ball 3 and the Pick Five 10 and 11 balls appear even better candidates to roll out of the machines in the coming weeks.