Did you know?
There was a jackpot winner in the very first Mega Millions drawing. The drawing on May 17, 2002 resulted in a $28 million winning ticket in Illinois. There was a second jackpot winner just one week later - which means there were two jackpot winners within the first three Mega Millions drawings.
Since the game began in 2002, there have been 193 jackpots won by 218 individual tickets (20 jackpots have been shared by two or more winning tickets).
Mega Millions has awarded 21 jackpots of more than $300 million, including the Mega Millions record of $1.537 billion won in South Carolina on October 23, 2018.
The largest Mega Millions jackpot won on a single ticket is that $1.537 billion prize, which is also the world’s largest lottery prize won on a single ticket. Other large single prizes have been $1.050 billion won in Michigan on January 22, 2021; $543 million won in California on July 24, 2018; $536 million won in Indiana on July 8, 2016; and $533 million won in New Jersey on March 30, 2018.
Six Mega Millions jackpots have been won on a Friday the 13th. Michigan has been especially lucky on that special day, with four winning jackpots (June 2008, May 2011, June 2014, and one shared with Rhode Island in October 2017). A Friday the 13th jackpot was also won in New York in March 2009 and in Ohio in November 2015.
Jackpots have been won in...
All of the original participating states have had Mega Millions jackpot winners. Beginning in January 2010, the game was expanded to all American lotteries including the Virgin Islands. Since that time, jackpots have been won in 26 different jurisdictions: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.
The first jackpot of 2021 was won in Michigan on January 22; at $1.050 billion, it was the second time the game surpassed the $1 billion threshold.
In 2020, two states had their very first Mega Millions jackpot winners: A $414 million prize was won in Arizona on June 9, and $120 million was won in Wisconsin on September 15. There were three other jackpots awarded in 2020, for a total of five during the year. Two were won in New Jersey – $202 million on February 11 and $123 million on July 24. And a California winner took home a $22 million prize on July 31.
Seven jackpots were won in 2019. On January 1, $437 million was won on a single ticket sold in New York; a group of 23 Long Island co-workers claimed that prize. On March 1, a $273 million jackpot was won in New Jersey; a $50 million prize was won in Missouri on March 12; a $522 million jackpot was won in California on June 7; on July 23, a $168 million prize was won in New Hampshire (that state's very first Mega Millions jackpot winner); and on September 24, $225 million was won in Texas. Finally, a $375 million jackpot was won in Ohio on December 17.
In 2018, five jackpots were won. A Florida player won a $451 million prize on January 5, a $533 million jackpot was won in New Jersey on March 30, a $142 million prize was won in Ohio on May 4, $543 million was won in California on July 24, and a record $1.537 billion was won in South Carolina on October 23, 2018 (South Carolina's first Mega Millions jackpot winner).
See a complete list of jackpot winners since the game began in 2002.
Second prizes up to $5 million!
Mega Millions is the only big jackpot game where second prizes can be as high as $5 million if the player has purchased the optional Megaplier (a $1 additional purchase available in most states). That prize level was established when the game’s matrix changed on October 19, 2013. Since that date, there have been 1,064 Match 5 winning tickets worth $1 million or more, and they have been won in almost every jurisdiction in which the game is sold.
Not surprisingly, larger states such as California and New York have had the most Match 5 winning tickets, but million-dollar prizes have also been won in many jurisdictions with the smallest American lotteries, such as Delaware, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming, the District of Columbia, and Virgin Islands.
Of those 1,064 winning Match 5 tickets, 157 have been worth more than $1 million because they included the optional Megaplier. Thirty-three were worth $5 million, 28 were worth $4 million, 36 were worth $3 million and 60 were worth $2 million.
Texas has been the luckiest big-money Megaplier state, with 24 winning tickets sold valued at $2 million to $5 million. Florida is next with 20 Megaplied Match 5 winning tickets sold.
Mega Millions has provided the two smallest American lotteries with the biggest prizes in their history thanks to Match 5 with Megaplier prizes – North Dakota had a $3 million winner in May 2016 and Wyoming had a $5 million winner in March 2016. And in August 2020, there was a $3 million winning ticket sold in the Virgin Islands.