Mega Millions FAQs
Get the answers to the most frequently asked questions about Mega Millions. You can find out information about various aspects of the game such as the Megaplier, how to win prizes and how to claim them.
Playing Mega Millions
Winning Mega Millions
Mega Millions Jackpots
When are Mega Millions drawings?
Mega Millions drawing days are every Tuesday and Friday. The draws happen at 11pm Eastern Time at WSB-TV in Atlanta, Georgia.
How long does the draw take?
Each Mega Millions draw takes less than a minute and is recorded for viewers to see. The overall process of preparing for the draw takes around three hours before it takes place.
When do ticket sales close?
The sales cutoff is usually one hour before the draw time, although it does vary depending on which state you are playing from. Head over to the Participating States page to find out more information.
Do my numbers have to be drawn in the right order?
No. The order the balls are drawn in makes no difference. However, you cannot substitute any of your main numbers for the Mega Ball, or vice versa. For example, if the winning Mega Ball is 1, your Mega Ball has to be 1 to count as a match. If you have 1 as a main number but not as the Mega Ball, it is not a match.
What is Just the Jackpot?
Just the Jackpot is an option in some participating states, where you can play two sets of numbers for a discounted cost of $3. However, you are only playing for the jackpot. If you don't match all the numbers, you cannot win any other prizes.
How do I win prizes?
To win the jackpot, all six of your selected numbers must be the same as the six winning numbers. You can also win prizes for matching fewer numbers, and you even win just by matching the Mega Ball without any of the main numbers.
Can I claim a prize in a different state to where I bought my ticket?
No, you need to claim your prize from the same state lottery as where you bought your ticket. If you played somewhere you don't live, you will have to return there to receive your money or claim by mail.
How do I know if I have won something?
There are various ways to find out if you are a winner. You can take your ticket to a lottery retailer, view the latest results or make it even easier for yourself by using the Mega Millions Checker.
Do you pay taxes on Mega Millions prizes?
Yes, Mega Millions prizes are subject to tax. The amount that is withheld depends on how much you have won and where you purchased your ticket. Go to the Jackpot Analysis page for more information.
What are the odds of winning?
The overall odds of winning a prize are 1 in 24. Your chances of winning the jackpot are 1 in 302,575,350. Go to the Odds page to find out more about the probability of winning and the different prizes that are available.
What should I do if I win Mega Millions?
There are various things you should do if you win a Mega Millions prize, particularly a major one. First, make sure your ticket is signed and kept safe, then you need to come forward to claim the money before the deadline. Most prizes can be claimed from lottery retailers, but for larger amounts you'll need to mail in your ticket or visit a regional office. The exact process, and the claim period, depends on where you have played. Go to the How to Claim page to find out more.
Do you need Megaplier to win the jackpot?
No - the Megaplier is not required to win the jackpot, and if you add Megaplier, it will not increase a jackpot win. Megaplier only multiplies prizes below the jackpot. To take home the top prize, you'll need to match all six numbers drawn: the five white balls as well as the Mega Ball.
What are the payout options?
If you win the jackpot, you can receive the advertised amount as an annuity over 29 years, or opt for a cash lump sum. Go to the Current Jackpot page to find out how much the grand prize is currently worth for both options.
Can I stay anonymous if I win?
The laws on public disclosure differ between states. Some jurisdictions regard a winner's identity as public information, while others allow players to stay anonymous if they wish. Visit the Participating States page to find out which states let you keep your anonymity.
What do I do if I lose my ticket?
Lottery tickets are bearer instruments, so you need to be in possession of a valid winning ticket to be able to claim a prize with it. The best way to protect yourself is to sign your ticket straight away and keep it in a safe place until the drawing has happened and you have checked to see if you're a winner.
What is the minimum jackpot?
The jackpot has always started at $20 million since early 2022, when the minimum starting value of $40 million was scrapped due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The grand prize may even start at a lower amount if ticket sales are not strong enough for $20 million to be offered.
What is the biggest jackpot of all time?
The record jackpot stands at $1.53 billion and dates back to October 23, 2018. A single ticket holder from South Carolina was revealed to be the winner. Visit the Biggest Mega Millions Jackpots page to view the top 10 biggest winners.
What is the current Mega Millions jackpot amount?
The Mega Millions jackpot is currently worth $322,000,000. The cash lump sum amount is worth $174,300,000.