Mega Millions FAQs

Below you can find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Mega Millions, including about how the draw works, buying tickets, and prize payouts. If you have a question that is not answered here or elsewhere on Lotto.net, please contact us for further help.

When do draws take place?

The Mega Millions lottery is drawn twice a week on a Tuesday and Friday at approximately 11.00pm ET.

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What time do ticket sales close?

Cut off times for ticket sales prior to the draw vary depending on where you’re playing, but sales usually stop up to an hour before the draw is scheduled. Check with your state lottery for confirmation.

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Can I play if I do not live in a participating state?

You can buy Mega Millions tickets from any participating state, even if you’re not a resident of one, although be aware that if you win a prize you must claim it in the same state that you bought your ticket. Alternatively, you can choose your numbers online from various locations around the world.

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How do I claim a prize?

The process differs between states, but in most locations you will be able to claim prizes of up to $599 from any licensed retailer. You would need to contact a local lottery claim centre to redeem prizes above this value, and jackpot claims will only be handled at the relevant state lottery headquarters.

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How long do I have to claim?

The claim period is determined by each state lottery, and can differ depending on the size of the prize. Some states offer a claim period of up to a year, while in others it is as short as 90 days. Contact your state lottery to confirm the length of the claim period.

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What happens to unclaimed prizes?

If a claim period expires without anyone coming forward to collect the prize, the money will be redistributed according to a state lottery’s regulations. Most lotteries will use the money to fund public projects in the state. New York, for example, uses the proceeds to fund public education. Prizes can no longer be redeemed after the claim period passes, even if a valid winning ticket is produced.

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How old do I have to be to play Mega Millions?

In most states, the minimum age for purchasing lottery tickets is 18 years old, but in Arizona, Iowa, and Louisiana it is 21, and in Nebraska it is 19. Some states, such as Colorado, allow minors under the age of 18 to claim lottery prizes won off tickets bought for them as a gift.

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What Is the Megaplier?

The Megaplier is an optional add-on that you can play that gives you the chance to multiply any non-jackpot prizes you win by up to five times their original value. All you have to do to add it is mark the option on the playslip when you choose your numbers. See the Mega Millions information page for more details.

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Are winnings taxable?

All winnings from Mega Millions are subject to federal and states taxes, although some locations do not levy a state tax. See the Prizes page for more information.

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What are the odds of winning a prize?

The odds of winning a prize on Mega Millions are approximately 1 in 24 and the odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 302,575,350.

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What does the jackpot start at and is it capped?

The Mega Millions jackpot starts at $40 million and there is no rollover cap, which means it will continue to roll over until it is won.

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What is the biggest jackpot ever won on Mega Millions?

The biggest jackpot to date is $1.53 billion, which was won by a ticket holder from South Carolina on 23rd October 2018.

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When is the next Mega Millions draw?

Friday 14th December 2018.

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What does the Mega Millions jackpot currently stand at?

The next Mega Millions jackpot is $262,000,000

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How much does it cost to buy a ticket?

The price of a single ticket is $2, with the Megaplier costing an additional $1 per line.

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What is Just the Jackpot?

Just the Jackpot is a type of wager available in some states, which gives you the chance to buy two lines of numbers for just $3. However, those numbers will only be eligible to win the jackpot and you will not receive a prize for matching anything less than the full winning line. See the Mega Millions information page to find out which states offer Just the Jackpot.

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What does pari-mutuel mean?

Pari-mutuel prizes are calculated based on how many entries there are in a particular lottery draw and how many winners there are. It means that prize amounts are not fixed and can change from draw to draw. In most states, only the Mega Millions jackpot can be regarded as a pari-mutuel prize, as it changes depending on the number of tickets sold and is shared between all jackpot winners in a particular draw. All other prizes are fixed amounts so do not change in the same way.

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Why can’t I play the Megaplier in California?

California is the only state that calculates all of its prizes on a pari-mutuel basis. This means that it does not offer the Megaplier option as it multiplies prizes by a fixed value, which is incompatible with pari-mutuel prize structures.

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