Mega Millions & Powerball Jackpots

This week, the Mega Millions jackpot is reaching a record high (estimated at nearly $1 Billion). It could be a big win for a lucky individual –  but for those struggling with problematic gambling behaviors, it’s an even bigger gamble.

For most, lottery games can be fun and the chance of winning a big jackpot can be exciting. But for some, any type of gambling can get out of control and result in financial problems, legal issues, family/relationship conflict and even suicide attempts.

Here’s how to keep lottery play safe, this weekend and beyond:

  • Play for fun and entertainment and NOT as a way to make money.
  • The odds of winning any Mega Million or Powerball jackpot are low (from Maryland Lottery):
    => Mega Million odds:  Jackpot win 1 in 302,575,350
    => Powerball odds:  Jackpot win 1 in 292,201,338
  • Set a limit to the amount of money you will spend on lottery tickets and stay within that budget limit.
  • Don’t buy tickets with money reserved for other uses, such as rent, buying food or paying bills.

If you or someone you know is struggling with their gambling habits, call or text the Maryland Helpline 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537).  Calls are free and confidential 24/7.  Or visit

If you or someone you know is struggling with problem gambling and other addictive behaviors, call or text the free, confidential Maryland Problem Gambling Helpline 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) to be connected to helpful resources, including Peer Recovery Support. Or visit