Results for Sunday, 24 May 2020
Next draw on Thursday, 28 May 2020
The Mega-Sena: Brazil's Biggest Lottery
The Mega-Sena is Brazil’s most popular lottery, with drawings twice weekly. The lottery is conducted by the Caixa Econômica Federal bank, which is the fourth largest bank in Brazil, and the largest fully government-owned bank in the country (and indeed in all of Latin America).
Playing the Mega-Sena
You have many options in playing the Mega-Sena lottery. Out of sixty possible numbers, six are chosen each drawing. You can try to match these numbers by playing anywhere from six to fifteen numbers. However many numbers you choose, you are in effect playing every possible six-number combination of those numbers.
If, for example, you choose to play seven numbers—let’s say the 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, and 07 to make it simple—you are covering all the following six-number combinations:
- 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06
- 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 07
- 01, 02, 03, 04, 06, 07
- 01, 02, 03, 05, 06, 07
- 01, 02, 04, 05, 06, 07
- 01, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07
- 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07
So if you play seven numbers, you’ll be paying for seven entries. Obviously the more numbers you play, the more entries are needed to cover all the possible combinations. Specifically:
- 6 numbers requires 1 entry
- 7 numbers requires 7 entries
- 8 numbers requires 28 entries
- 9 numbers requires 84 entries
- 10 numbers requires 210 entries
- 11 numbers requires 462 entries
- 12 numbers requires 924 entries
- 13 numbers requires 1,716 entries
- 14 numbers requires 3,003 entries
- 15 numbers requires 5,005 entries
Each entry costs 3.5 reals. (A Brazilian real is equivalent to roughly 30 cents in American currency.) So it costs 3.5 reals to cover six numbers, up to 17,517.5 reals to cover 15 numbers.
You can either pick the numbers you wish to play, or you can have your numbers generated randomly. An entry with random numbers is called a “Surpresinha.”
You can enter each drawing separately, or there is also an option to purchase entries for multiple drawings at once. If you choose a “Teimosinha,” this means you are keeping the same numbers for two, four, or eight consecutive drawings.
You can also establish a syndicate, called a “Bolão,” to play the Mega-Sena. This means that multiple people (anywhere from two to a hundred) combine their funds to purchase entries, and will split any prizes in proportion to their share of the purchase price. The minimum Bolão bet is 10 reals, and the minimum single share of a Bolão bet is 4 reals.
Bolãos are especially useful for covering many numbers. For instance, with fifteen numbers costing 17,517.5 reals, and fourteen numbers costing 10,510.5 reals, instead of one person having to pay all that, you can split the cost among up to a hundred people.
The Mega-Sena Drawings
On Wednesday and Saturdays, at 8:00 PM Brasilia time, the Caixa Econômica Federal bank conducts a Mega-Sena drawing, televised on a delayed basis by RedeTV.
Two spinning spherical cages are used. The first cage holds balls marked from 0 to 5. This is the first digit. The second cage holds balls marked from 0 to 9. This is the second digit. Thus sixty two-digit numbers are possible, ranging from 00 to 59. However, 00 is treated as 60, so really the possible range is 01 to 60.
Six unique two-digit numbers are drawn each drawing.
Winning the Mega-Sena
46% of the money paid for entries goes toward prizes. This money is awarded as follows:
- 35% is divided among all the entries that successfully picked all six numbers. (If no entries did so, this money rolls over to the next drawing.)
- 19% is divided among all the entries that successfully picked five of the six numbers.
- 19% is divided among all the entries that successfully picked four of the six numbers.
- 22% is set aside as prize money for special drawings that occur once every five regular drawings.
- 5% is set aside as prize money for a special, special drawing, called the “Mega da Virada,” that is held just once a year, on New Year’s Eve.
Obviously hitting six numbers is much harder than hitting five, which in turn is much harder than hitting four. For each entry, there is a 1 in 50,063,860 chance of hitting six numbers, a 1 in 154,518 chance of hitting five numbers, and a 1 in 2,332 chance of hitting four numbers. So if you hit six numbers you’ll likely have to split that 35% of the prize money with very few other people; you may even get it all yourself. If you hit five numbers, you’ll no doubt be splitting the 19% of the prize money that goes to those winners with quite a lot of other people. If you hit four numbers, you’ll get only a tiny bit of the 19% that goes to those winners (but you’ll still certainly come out a lot better than if you hadn’t matched even four numbers).
Income tax of 13.8% is deducted from all winning entries. Taking that into effect, the actual amount of the money paid for entries that is returned as prize money to the winners is 32.2% rather than 46%.
Any prize below 800 reals can be claimed at any lottery house. Prizes of higher amounts than that can be claimed only at the Caixa Econômica Federal bank itself.
There is a time limit of 90 days to claim prizes. Any Mega-Sena prize that is not claimed within 90 days of the drawing is transferred to the Brazilian treasury.
The Mega da Virada
The annual Mega da Virada drawing is especially popular, as it features the highest prizes of all. In fact, in 2014, a winning six-number entry paid over 263 million reals.
Unlike with the other Mega-Sena drawings, there is no rollover if there is no winning six-number entry. Instead, the prize money that would have been divided up by the winning six-number entries is added to the prize money divided up by the winning five-number entries.
Whatever money that is collected from the purchase of Mega-Sena entries that is not used for prize money or for the administrative costs of running the lottery goes toward the costs of running numerous Brazilian government social programs.