The Brazilian Mega-Sena serves as that country’s national lottery and ranks as the largest lottery in all of South America. With jackpots topping out as high as R$145 million ($37 million US), it is little surprise that people around the world buy Mega-Sena tickets online for a shot at winning a life-changing amount of money.

Caixa Econômica Federal bank administers Mega-Sena and most other lotteries across the country. Proceeds from the lottery are used to pay costs with the remainder donated to various social programs. All in all, Mega-Sena is a popular, high-paying lottery that supports positive causes. Drawings are held twice a week and every jackpot is guaranteed for at least R$1,100,000, although the top prize frequently passes that number by a long shot.

Where to Play Mega-Sena Online

Most international lottery sites sell Mega-Sena tickets online owing to its popularity among a diverse range of lottery players. If you live outside Brazil, the internet is the best way to buy tickets and get paid if you win. As always, I recommend sticking with safe lottery sites backed by positive reputations:

Tickets bought from lottery sites work in the same manner as those purchased in the real world. Once you pay for your ticket, the lottery site sends a local person out to buy tickets, scan them and upload them for you to view. Anyone lucky enough to win a prize will be paid via electronic banking or other arrangements depending on the size of the win.

The biggest Mega-Sena jackpots of all time occurred after numerous drawings resulted in no winners with jackpots rolling over to the next drawing. One of the largest in recent history was a 2009 jackpot for R$145 million that was split by two winners. At the end of each year, a special “Mega Da Virada” drawing is held with a jackpot somewhere in the range of R$200 million. These jackpots are all accompanied by a litany of smaller, second-tier prizes that hand out millions to lucky winners every single week.

How to Play Mega-Sena Lottery Online

Mega-Sena recently streamlined its drawing process to simplify things for everyone. In the past, you were asked to pick six numbers in the range of 1-60. Then, each drawing used two machines in which one machine drew balls numbered 0-5 while the other drew balls numbered 0-9. Balls from each machine were paired to create each winning number. For example, Machine A might have spit out a 2 while Machine B might have spit out a 7 to form “27” as the first pick.

Things are much simpler now. You still select six numbers ranged 1-60, but now a single machine is used to draw from a single pool of balls numbered 1-60. This new method of drawing is both easier to follow and perceived as more trustworthy. Drawings are held every Wednesday and Saturday.

Mega-Sena Payouts and Odds

Mega-Sena awards prizes from three different levels or “tiers.” Tier 1 is the main jackpot that you always see grabbing headlines among South American media. This is the one we all dream of with a top prize that is never less than R$1.1 million. Lower tiers award less overall prize money but are much easier to hit.

Exact prize amounts vary because Mega-Sena determines payouts as a percentage of total ticket sales plus any previous jackpots that have not yet been won.

  • Tier 1: The main jackpot is triggered if you match all six of your numbers to those drawn by the lottery. 35% of the total prize fund is awarded to the lucky winner. Your odds of matching all six numbers are 1 in 50,063,860.
  • Tier 2: If you match five of the six numbers, you win a tier 2 jackpot for 19% of the total prize pool fund. This means you’ll get just a little over half of what the top prize winner gets. However, tier 2 jackpots are more likely to be split among multiple winners due to the odds being much higher at 1 in 154,518.
  • Tier 3: Tier 3 jackpots are won by matching four of the six numbers. This one also pays out 19% of the total prize fund, but your total earnings are split among many more winners. The odds of matching four out of six numbers are 1 in 2,332.

Special Drawings

You may have already noticed, but the above payouts fall far short of the total prize fund with just 73% being paid out to Tier 1 through 3 winners. The remaining 27% is reserved for two types of special drawings.

22% of every prize fund is reserved for a special payout that happens once every five drawings. The purpose with that is to inflate the prize pool every few drawings and generate more interest among the general public.

Furthermore, another 5% of every prize fund is allocated to a once-a-year drawing held every New Year’s Eve. This is called the Mega Da Virada and it hosts the largest jackpots of them all. The top prize in the year-end Mega Da Virada often approaches R$200,000,000 and is understandably very enticing even for those who don’t regularly play Mega-Sena.

Mega-Sena Syndicates and Subscriptions

The Brazilian national lottery does support syndicate play but it is only an option for those who live in-country. If you do live in Brazil, you can set up a syndicate for 2-100 people to split the cost of tickets and purchase more chances to win than any one person might wish to spend alone.

Subscriptions can be purchased online at any major Mega-Sena site (see table above for recommendations). Subscription lengths vary from site to site, but generally extend out as far as a year. You pay for the entire subscription amount up front and will then be entered automatically into every drawing and notified of all winning tickets.