So, last night was a very odd drawing for the Mega Millions game. The odds of matching the 5 white balls are 1 in 3,819,816: There are 56 balls. 56 x 55 x 54 x 53 x 52 = 458,377,920. Since you don't have to match them in a specific order, divide that by the number of ways in which 5 numbers can be organized (5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1), which is 120. That makes the odds of matching the 5 white balls 1 in 3,819,816. In the 4/17/2009 drawing, for a random example, there were approximately 33,785,200 tickets sold. 10 tickets matched the 5 white balls. 33,785,200 divided by 3,819,816 = about 9.15. So 10 winning tickets is right about average. Normally the number of winners for each respective category closely follows the odds. In most drawings, about every 3.8 million tickets will be a ticket that matches the 5 white numbers. If an unusual amount of tickets wins a given prize, this is how I calculate the odds of it happening: In the 5/1/2009 drawing, there were approximately 78,130,400 tickets sold. The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 3,819,816 x 46, since there are 46 mega ball numbers and you have to match the 5 + 1. That makes the odds 1 in 175,711,536. So, with 78,130,400 tickets, the odds that SOMEONE would win the jackpot are 1 in 2.24 (175,711,536 divided by 78,130,400). However, 3 people hit the jackpot that drawing, so the way I calculated the odds of that happening was: 2.24 x 2.24 x 2.24 which came out to about 11.2. 1 in 11.2, which explains why 3 people don't normally hit the jackpot. However, last night, there were only 22,844,680 tickets sold, and yet 34 people matched the 5 white numbers. That's 1 out of every 671,902 tickets. I can't use the above method for figuring out what the odds of that happening are, because 3,819,816 divided by 22,844,680 says that the odds of ONE person matching the 5 numbers was 1 in 0.16, and I can't multiply 0.16 by itself 34 times to figure out what the odds of 34 winners was, because 0.16 just keeps shrinking the more you multiply it by itself. So, given that the odds of matching 5 numbers are 1 in 3,819,816, and in yesterdays drawing 1 out of every 671,902 tickets matched the 5 numbers, what was the odds of that happening?