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What is Mega Millions?

Mega Millions® is a multi-state lottery game with MEGA jackpots and MEGA fun.

You can play Mega Millions in 45 states plus the District of Columbia and the U. S. Virgin Islands; a total of 47 jurisdictions. See the Where To Play page for details. With millions of people playing, jackpots can roll to even higher levels at a faster rate. You choose six numbers and there are nine exciting ways to win in the game. Until further notice, the starting jackpot will vary based on sales and will be announced before each drawing.

Where can I get results for Mega Millions?

Right here on the official Mega Millions® website. Winning numbers are posted shortly after each drawing. Information on the number of winners is posted on Wednesday and Saturday mornings after Mega Millions lottery security has verified winning ticket sales.

Many individual lotteries offer an email or texting service where you can automatically receive winning numbers after each draw. Find your lottery on our Where to Play page for more information. You can also call a player information telephone number in each Mega Millions state. These numbers are listed on the Contact Us page.

Do the numbers on my ticket have to be in the same order as the numbers are drawn?
Not at all! In a lotto game like Mega Millions, the order in which the numbers are drawn does not matter. The numbers on your ticket are always shown in numerical order, as are the winning numbers for each drawing as reported here on That makes them easy to compare.
How was Mega Millions created?

The history of Mega Millions® is as exciting as playing the game! Following a record $363 million Big Game jackpot in 2000, interest in multi-state games was at an all-time high. And as interest in the multi-state games grew, so did the participants. In May 2002, New York and Ohio joined Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey and Virginia to create Mega Millions!

Sales for the country's newest multi-state jackpot game began on May 15, 2002, and the first drawing was May 17, 2002.

It didn't take long for players in other states to join the mega fun! By September 2002, Washington had joined Mega Millions and in December 2003, Texas began offering the game to its players. In June 2005, California became the 12th member, solidifying Mega Millions as the country's most widely played multi-state jackpot game.

On January 31, 2010, 23 more state lotteries joined Mega Millions as an historic cross-selling agreement between Mega Millions and Powerball went into effect.

Today, all American lotteries participate in Mega Millions, including the Virgin Islands Lottery.

When and where are the drawings held?

Mega Millions® drawings are held Tuesday and Friday at 11:00 p.m. Eastern Time, 10:00 p.m. Central Time, 9:00 p.m. Mountain Time, 8:00 p.m. Pacific Time. Drawings are held at WSB-TV in Atlanta, Georgia. Check with your state lottery for the cut-off time to purchase tickets.

How much did I win?

There are nine ways to win in Mega Millions®, and prizes range from $2 all the way to the jackpot. See our How to Play page for details of all prize levels. Remember that if you purchase the Megaplier for an extra $1 (available in most states), your non-jackpot prize is multiplied by that Megaplier; a table summarizing Megaplier payouts is also on the How to Play page.

How are Mega Millions jackpots estimated?
Members of the Mega Millions® group meet every Tuesday and Friday morning to determine the game’s estimated jackpots for the next two drawings. Lottery Directors and finance representatives share their state’s individual sales forecasts during that meeting to estimate the total sales that are projected for those drawings. Those sales estimates are then used to determine the estimated cash value of the jackpots and the advertised annuity values, with the annuity value based on that day’s 30-year U.S. Treasuries rate, which can change day to day. The rate on any drawing day is often different from the rate on the previous drawing day, when the jackpot is first estimated.
Why doesn’t the actual jackpot amount match the estimated value?
The final Mega Millions® jackpot value can end up being different from the estimate because estimates, while based on trends and historical patterns, are still estimates. When jackpots become extremely large, there are few precedents upon which to base the estimates. Typically, as much as 70% of sales occur on the drawing day, so forecasting precise numbers in advance can be difficult and can be affected by external factors such as the weather. Changes in both sales and the U.S. Treasuries rate explain why the advertised jackpot amounts are always noted as estimates. Historically, actual winning jackpots have come in at levels above, below, and equal to the estimated figures in roughly similar proportions. And regardless of whether a jackpot-winning player chooses the cash value or the annuity option, they receive the available jackpot based on actual sales, which may vary from the estimated jackpot.
Where can I play Mega Millions?

You can buy Mega Millions® tickets from lottery retailers/agents in 45 states plus the District of Columbia and the U. S. Virgin Islands; a total of 47 jurisdictions. See the Where To Play page for details. Please check with the Mega Millions lottery in the state closest to you for retailer/agent information.

What is the Megaplier?

Most states use a Megaplier® feature in which players can increase non-jackpot prize winnings by 2, 3, 4 or 5 times. In a participating state, you can play the Megaplier for an extra $1. Any non-jackpot prize won on a Mega Millions® play will be multiplied by the Megaplier number drawn if you have purchased the Megaplier feature. For example, if you win the $1 million second-tier prize in Mega Millions, and the Megaplier number drawn is 5, your prize would be a whopping $5 million if you purchased the Megaplier for just $1 extra! To find out if your state participates, visit the lottery web site in the state in which you bought the ticket.

What is Just the Jackpot?

Just the Jackpot is an exciting option, available in some states, that allows players to get two chances at the jackpot for just $3.00. Just the Jackpot tickets are not eligible for any other prize levels. To see if the lottery in your jurisdiction offers this option, visit that lottery’s website (you can find links on our “Where to Play” page).

If I purchase a Mega Millions ticket in one state, can I redeem it in another?
Because Mega Millions® is sold by individual lotteries, any winning tickets must be redeemed in the state in which they were purchased. Lotteries typically have a claim-by-mail option for most prize levels; you can find details on their websites.
How long do I have to collect a Mega Millions prize?

Claim periods vary by jurisdiction based on local rules and regulations, so the time period for claiming prizes ranges from 90 days to one year from the draw date. Please check with the lottery in the state where your ticket was purchased to get the applicable claim period for that ticket.

Can a group of people share a Mega Millions prize?

Yes, Mega Millions® prizes can be shared. Winners can decide how to share a prize when they claim it. Some restrictions do apply. Please check with the lottery in the state where you bought your tickets.

How does Mega Millions take care of business?

Unlike some multi-state or multi-country lotteries that have central offices, all Mega Millions® duties are shared by member states as part of their membership in the game.

While most accounting is handled by each member state individually, key duties such as projecting jackpots, budgeting and expenditures, settlements of draw and wagering data, financial settlements (prize expense shares and banking/cash settlements), monitoring of draw data and statistics, public relations, draw show production and broadcasting, technical duties (i.e. software development) and legal work are all shared.

I received an email or phone call saying that I have won Mega Millions. Is it legitimate?

If you have not already purchased a Mega Millions® ticket from a participating lottery, then this is a scam. You can’t win any legitimate lottery if you didn’t buy a ticket.

The scams take many forms and the scammers use many tricks. In most cases, the criminals e-mail or call to tell intended victims they have won a large prize. They might identify themselves as being with Mega Millions or another legitimate lottery, even though Mega Millions is a game, not an organization, and is only sold through participating lotteries.

These scams all have one thing in common: They try to trick you into sending them money or personal information by claiming that you have won a large lottery prize. The crooks usually try to get you to wire money for “taxes” or “fees,” or may try to get you to provide them with a bank account number, which they will then clean out.

Please contact your local lottery if you have any questions or have received a suspicious email or phone call.

More information

Can I buy Mega Millions tickets if I live in another country?

Visitors to the United States are always welcome to purchase tickets for our game from an American lottery retailer while they are visiting this country; you do not need to be a resident or citizen to win. However, Mega Millions® tickets are not sold outside the United States. Mega Millions is not affiliated with and does not endorse any company claiming to sell our tickets around the world, online or otherwise. If you choose to do business with one of these companies, you do so at your own risk -- it would be up to the lottery that actually sold the ticket here to decide whether that ticket is valid. We add that Mega Millions rules prohibit the purchase of tickets by agents representing players in other jurisdictions.

Can I buy Mega Millions tickets online?

If you are in Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Virginia, or the District of Columbia, you may buy Mega Millions® tickets online by registering with the lotteries in those jurisdictions. You may also purchase subscriptions for Mega Millions online in New York. In most cases, you must be residents of these jurisdictions to participate in these purchase options, but in all cases you must be physically within their borders when you make any online ticket purchases. Details may be found on those lotteries' websites (see Where to Play).

Is there a Mega Millions mobile app?

Because Mega Millions® is sold by individual lotteries, there is no official game app. Most lotteries have their own apps, which typically contain information about the games they offer, including Mega Millions. Some lotteries’ apps also provide winning number notifications and other useful tools.

What happens to Mega Millions payments if the winner dies before collecting?

If a winner dies before receiving all annual payments, Mega Millions® will continue to pay the annual payments, as scheduled, to the winner's designated beneficiary or to the winner's estate.

Winners who choose the annuity method will receive an immediate payment followed by 29 annual Mega Millions payments. Check with your state lottery for more specific information.

Are prizes taxable?

Yes. All prizes are subject to income taxes. For tax-withholding information, please check with your Mega Millions® lottery.

What are the payout options?

If you are a Mega Millions® jackpot winner, you will have the choice of a Cash Option or an Annual Payout. Annuity option: Provides for an initial annual payment followed by 29 annual payments. Each payment is 5 percent larger than the previous one. Cash option: A one-time, lump-sum payment that is equal to all the cash in the Mega Millions jackpot prize pool. Prize claim parameters vary from state to state. Contact your Mega Millions state lottery for detailed information.

What happens if I lose a ticket?

Mega Millions® is not responsible for lost or stolen tickets. Protect yourself by signing the back of your tickets. Lottery tickets are bearer instruments. Unless signed, anyone in possession of the ticket can file a claim.

What happens to a Mega Millions jackpot prize if it is not claimed?

If a jackpot prize is not claimed within the required time limit (which varies by state), each participating state in the Mega Millions® game will get back all the money that state contributed to the unclaimed jackpot. Each state uses its unclaimed lottery prizes for different purposes. Contact the lottery where you play to find out how unclaimed prizes are used.

Can a Mega Millions jackpot winner claim the prize anonymously?

Public disclosure laws vary from state to state. Some states require their lotteries to publicly identify winners, while others do not. Check with the lottery in your jurisdiction.