Mega Millions Rules
Playing Mega Millions is easy; however, you need to make sure that you adhere to all the game rules to be eligible to enter a Mega Millions drawing and to receive any prizes due on winning tickets. Game rules vary for each state and you can find out more by checking with your state lottery.
Here are some Mega Millions rules that you should be aware of:
The age restriction for buying Mega Millions tickets varies in each state. Players must be a minimum of 18-years-old, except for Arizona, Louisiana and Iowa, where the minimum age to buy a Mega Millions ticket is 21. In Nebraska, players must be at least 19.
Picking your Mega Millions Numbers
To play Mega Millions, pick up a playslip and select five main numbers between 1 and 70 and one Mega Ball number from 1 to 25. You can also add the supplementary Megaplier for an additional $1. If you want to enter Just the Jackpot, you need to use a Just the Jackpot playslip and select your preferred numbers. If you are not sure, ask your local lottery retailer.
Prizes Winnings are Liable to Tax
All prizes winnings are subject to federal taxes and in most states, prizes are also subject to state taxes. You can check how much you would pay on a prize on the Mega Millions Taxes page. If you win a large prize, you should consult a financial expert, who can help you find out what you may owe in taxes, depending on your personal circumstances.
Prizes in California
Mega Millions prizes in California are pari-mutuel, which means that payouts for winning tickets vary and depend on overall ticket sales and the number of winners. You can learn more about prizes and payouts on the Mega Millions prizes page.
Claiming Your Prize
Prizes must be claimed in the state where the winning ticket was purchased. For example, if you buy a ticket in Texas on vacation and win a Mega Millions prize and you returned home to Florida, you would have to travel back to Texas to collect your winnings.
What if I Win the Jackpot?
Players that win the top prize have the option of accepting the winnings as a reduced cash lump sum or an annuity. If you choose the yearly annuity payments, you receive the full value of the jackpot. However, it is paid out in smaller amounts over 29 years.
Mega Millions Tickets Expire
Mega Millions tickets expire if winnings are not claimed within a specified period, which is different in each state. For example, in Arizona, prizes must be claimed with 180 days of the drawing date, whereas Delaware players have a year. You can check how long you have to claim your winnings on the Where to Claim Your Prize page.