How to Play Mega Millions
Players are required to select five main numbers from 1 to 70 and one Mega Ball number from a separate pool of 1 to 25. If a player matches all six numbers drawn, they win the jackpot. If there are no jackpot winners, the top prize rolls over to the following drawing. The Mega Millions jackpot starts at $40 million and increases each time there is a rollover. As there is no jackpot cap, jackpots have the ability to roll into hundreds of millions of dollars.
In all participating states except California, players can boost the value of any non-jackpot prize winnings by choosing a supplementary game known as the Megaplier. The price of the Megaplier is an additional $1. Have a look at the various Megaplier prizes offered and the odds of a Megaplier number being drawn, by visiting the dedicated page.
Just the Jackpot
A new wager, known as 'Just the Jackpot', was introduced in October 2017. The option is offered to all players in participating states, except for New Hampshire. 'Just the Jackpot' gives you the opportunity to play for the jackpot prize only. Players are given two sets of Mega Millions numbers for the price of $3, but they are not eligible for any of the other prizes in the lower prize tiers.
What Happens if you win the Jackpot?
The winner can choose between the full jackpot value paid out over 29 years or a reduced lump-sum payment. Prizes must be claimed within 180 days or one year from the date of the drawing (depending on the state). You can learn more about how to claim a Mega Millions prize and the length of time that you have to claim your winnings on the How to Claim page.
In addition to the jackpot, Mega Millions offers players the chance to win prizes in eight other prize tiers. The prizes range from $2 to $1 million. You can view the prizes available here.
Draws are held in Atlanta, Georgia every Tuesday and Friday at 23.00 EST. Ticket sales close at least an hour prior to the draw, but exact cut-off times vary from state to state, so players are advised to check with their own state lottery provider.
Where to Buy Mega Millions Tickets
Mega Millions is played across multiple US states and jurisdictions. Tickets are sold in participating retail outlets, alongside those for each states’ own games. However, players can also play online in different countries (where it is legal to do so).
Comparison Between Playing Online and via a Retailer
Can’t decide whether to play Mega Millions online or via a retailer? Here are some of the differences:
|Play Online||Play via a Retailer|
|Convenience||Choose your numbers at any time without having to leave the comfort of your own home, taking the hassle out of a trip to the store.||Tickets can only be purchased from authorized stores.|
|Flexibility||You can choose you numbers at a time that suits you.||Store opening hours are limited and tickets can only be purchased during opening hours.|
|Security||Once you have chosen and paid for your entries, they are safely stored in your online account, eliminating the risk of losing or damaging tickets.||Your ticket is your only proof of purchase and if anything happens to your ticket such as it being damaged, lost or stolen, this may result in you not being able to claim winnings.|
|Simplicity||If you win a prize, you will be notified directly by email and winnings will be paid into your online account.||It is your responsibility to check your ticket against the official results and if you have won, you will have to collect your winnings from an authorized store or, depending on the size of the prize, you may have to go to your local lottery district office.|
Note: Players must be at least 18-years-old to enter Mega Millions in most participating jurisdictions. In Nebraska, you must be 19-years-old, and in Arizona, Iowa and Louisiana, you must be 21-years-old.