Mega Millions, like Powerball, is a multistate lottery in the United States. Tickets for the Mega Millions Lottery can be purchased in all but six states, as well as Washington, DC, and the Virgin Islands. Each Mega Millions Jackpot starts at $40 million and increases by $5 million for every drawing that does not produce a jackpot winner. Mega Millions Lottery: What is the MegaMillions? How to Play and Be a Winner? Could You Be the Next Mega Millions Winner?
What Is the Mega Millions Lottery?
Mega Millions began in August 1996 under the name “The Big Game“. Only six states participated at first, but the lottery grew in popularity over time, and nearly every U.S. jurisdiction participates today.
Mega Millions Big Jackpot
The name has changed twice, to “The Big Game Mega Millions” in 2002 and to “Mega Millions,” as it’s known today, in 2005.
In October 2017, Mega Millions Lotto changed its structure, making it harder to win the jackpot but easier to win a million-dollar prize. The changes should also result in larger jackpots, and the size of the starting jackpot is jumping nearly three times. A similar redesign was made five years earlier, in October 2012.
The October 2017 MegaMillion changes include raising ticket prices from $1 apiece to $2 apiece, dropping the number of white balls from 75 to 70, and having 25 numbers to choose among for the Mega Ball instead of 15. The starting jackpot increased from $15 million to $40 million. A “Just the Jackpot” option ticket was also added and some of the non-jackpot payouts were increased.
These changes put MegaMillions Lotto more in line with the Powerball lottery, which has been attracting attention recently for its huge jackpots.
Mega Millions broke the record for the United States’ largest lottery jackpot when a $656 million prize was awarded on March 30, 2012. Since then, two Powerball jackpots have broken that record, with a $1,586.4 billion prize awarded on January 13, 2016, and a $758.7 million jackpot awarded on August 23, 2017.
How Do You Play Mega Millions?
To play the Mega Millions lottery, you must pick five numbers between 1 and 70 and one additional number between 1 and 25. The additional number is known as the “Mega Ball.” The first five numbers do not have to be in any particular order.
Playslip Mega Millions
A basic Mega Millions ticket costs $2. Most states also offer a “Megaplier” option, where you pay $1 per ticket to multiply any prize you win (other than the jackpot) by two, three, four, or five. The value of the Megaplier is drawn at random at the same time that the winning numbers are generated.
You have the option to choose your lottery numbers, or to do a “quick pick” to let the computer randomly generate the numbers you will play.
As of October 28, 2017, some states offer a “Just the Jackpot” ticket. The Just the Jackpot ticket gives you two tickets for just $3, but those tickets are only eligible to win jackpots, none of the lower-tier prizes.
Playslip Mega Millions number
Playslip Mega Millions
- Play five numbers from 1 to 70.
Pick a Megaball number from 1 to 25.
Choose Quick Pick by marking QP.
Add Megaplier for $1.
Select to play consecutive drawings.
Mark to void the panel.
Megaplier MegaMillions Lottery
Can be added to any Mega Millions ticket for just $1.
Multiplies your winnings by 2 to 5 times on most prize levels (not including the jackpot; see Prizes & Odds chart for details).
The Megaplier is drawn during the Mega Millions drawing.
How Do You Win the Mega Millions Lottery?
Mega Millions numbers are drawn from two drums, one containing 70 balls and one containing 25 balls.
The first five numbers are drawn from the first drum, and the Mega Ball is drawn from the second drum. A seventh number is then drawn, to determine the level of the Megaplier, from 2 through 5.
If your five numbers match the five drawn from the first drum in any order, and your Mega Ball matches the number drawn from the second drum, you’ve won the jackpot. You may also win a prize for matching a fewer number of balls, as outlined below.
Mega Millions Odds and Prizes – Megaplier Prizes
Mega Millions Payouts
5 numbers plus the Mega Ball: The rolling jackpot.
5 numbers without the Mega Ball: $1,000,000 (multiplied by the Megaplier value, if you purchased that option).
4 numbers plus the Mega Ball: $10,000 (multiplied by the Megaplier value, if you purchased that option).
4 numbers without the Mega Ball: $500 (multiplied by the Megaplier value, if you purchased that option).
3 numbers plus the Mega Ball: $200 (multiplied by the Megaplier value, if you purchased that option).
3 numbers without the Mega Ball: $10 (multiplied by the Megaplier value, if you purchased that option).
2 numbers plus the Mega Ball: $10 (multiplied by the Megaplier value, if you purchased that option).
1 number plus the Mega Ball: $4 (multiplied by the Megaplier value, if you purchased that option).
Only the Mega Ball: $2 (multiplied by the Megaplier value, if you purchased that option).
Odds of Winning the Mega Millions Lottery:
5 numbers plus the Mega Ball (Jackpot): Odds of 1 in 302,575,350.
5 numbers without the Mega Ball: Odds of 1 in 12,607,306.
4 numbers plus the Mega Ball: Odds of 1 in 931,001.
4 numbers without the Mega Ball: Odds of 1 in 38,792.
3 numbers plus the Mega Ball: Odds of 1 in 14,547.
3 numbers without the Mega Ball: Odds of 1 in 606.
2 numbers plus the Mega Ball: Odds of 1 in 693.
1 number plus the Mega Ball: Odds of 1 in 89.
Only the Mega Ball: Odds of 1 in 37.
Overall odds of winning any prize: 1 in 24.
How Can You Find Out If You Won the Mega Millions Jackpot?
Mega Millions winners are drawn on Tuesdays and Fridays at 11:00 p.m. You can buy tickets up to 15 minutes before that time. Winning numbers are announced on television, in newspapers, and in the stores where you can buy tickets, or simply visit the Mega Millions website powerballmegaeuromillions.com to view the latest winning numbers at any time.
If you’d like to see drawings at any time, check out the Mega Millions YouTube page.
Many of the state lottery websites also have handy smartphone apps or RSS feeds that can keep you abreast of the winning numbers.
Do You Have to Go Public If You’re a Mega Millions Winner?
In all but five states, you have to reveal your identity publicly if you are a Mega Millions winner. The states that allow you to collect your winnings anonymously are Maryland, Ohio, Kansas, Delaware, and North Dakota.
If You Win the Mega Millions Jackpot, How Will You Get Your Prize?
If you win the jackpot MegaMillions, have the choice of two payout options: a lump-sum payout or an annuity. The annuity will be paid out over 29 years, receiving 5 percent more each year than the year before. If the winner passes away before the annuity has been paid out, his or her heirs will continue to receive the payments.
If the winner takes the lump-sum payout, he or she will receive the entire jackpot at once, and will also be responsible for taxes on the entire amount at once. People who take the annuity option pay taxes on their winnings each year.
Which States Do Not Participate in the Mega Millions Lottery?
The Mega Millions Lottery is not offered in Alabama, Alaska, Mississippi, Hawaii, Nevada, or Utah.
Mega Millions sales end at 10:45 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays and resume after the drawing.
Once a ticket is generated it can’t be canceled, so check your play slip to make sure everything is correct.
The ticket, not the play slip, is your proof of purchase. So sign your ticket immediately.
Don’t Forget, cont
Mega Millions drawings will be held & televised on Tuesday and Friday at approximately 11:00 p.m. Watch the drawings online or on any of these stations:
WRAL Raleigh (ch.5)
WITN Greenville, New Bern & Washington (ch.7)
WAXN Charlotte (ch.64)
WGHP Winston-Salem, Greensboro & High Point (ch.8)
WLOS Asheville (ch.13)
For just $2, you could put megabucks in your pocket because jackpots always start at 40 million dollars, and there’s nine ways to win. Count ’em on your fingers – nine. That’s every digit but a thumb. Or a pinky. And with Megaplier you can multiply most prizes 2X to 5X for just another buck – that’s a pretty serious megadeal. You may be asking yourself, “are you mega-kidding-me?” No, we’re mega-not. And it gets better: with drawings every Tuesday and Friday, that’s two chances a week to take home the mega-mother lode. That’s twice as many days as your favorite show with a way bigger payoff. Now that’s must-see TV. Get ready for Mega Millions.