Quick Pick vs Self Pick Entries

When you enter Mega Millions you have two options- choose your own numbers or have a QuickPick choose them for you. A QuickPick will randomly choose the numbers for you at the point of sale when the ticket is printed out of the lottery machine at the retailer, rather than reading the numbers on the playslip and assigning those onto the ticket.

It's important to note that neither way of entering Mega Millions has an advantage over the other. The odds that you will win a prize are exactly the same for both methods.

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$251 Million
Cash Lump Sum: $118.7 Million
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QuickPicks are the most favoured method of entry as they are quick to do and you don’t have to spend any effort deciding which numbers you are going to enter. It's as simple as asking the retailer for a Mega Millions entry, or ticking one box on a playslip and you are done and ready to go.

The downside is that if you watch the draw without your ticket then you won’t be able to know if you have won as there is a good chance you won't know the numbers you have entered. This could take some of the excitement away from winning for you, although you will still get this same excitement when you check your ticket later.

Self Pick

This option allows you to choose which five numbers and Mega Ball you enter, giving you more control over your entry. Many people use this method so that they can enter the same numbers each week and can clearly see if they have won a prize as soon as they see the results. It also allows you to use significant dates, such as birthdays, on your entry, or choose a specific sequence of numbers like 10-20-30-40-50.

The downside of this can play against you and worsen your chances if not done carefully. For example, if you use birthdays then you are limiting the numbers you can use to 1 to 31, cancelling out numbers 32 – 70 that also remain in the draw.


Both options have their merits, and it really is as simple as to whichever method you prefer being what you should go for. If you are still struggling to choose then we have summarized the pros and cons of each method here.

QuickPick vs Self Pick Comparison
QuickPick Self Pick
Numbers chosen at random from the entire ball pool Can use numbers or dates that are significant to you
Quickest and easiest way to enter Easy to check the winning numbers if you remember your entry
Most common method among all players Put the control of your entry into your own hands
Can’t immediately check numbers without memorising your ticket Can inadvertantly limit the ball pool in half if using dates
Numbers might not have any meaning to you, lowering the excitement Share prizes with a lot of people if you choose a common sequence (e.g. 1-2-3-4-5) and it wins
Cannot choose one or two numbers and have the rest random- they all must be random If the numbers you normally play are drawn and you haven't bought a ticket you may get angry at yourself