Mega Millions Guide For Canadians
All information you need to know before buying a Mega Millions ticket as a Canadian.
Mega Millions is played by people all over the planet, mostly in the United States, but also by people in CANADA.
Can I play Mega Millions when living in Canada?
Yes. As a Canadian citizen, you can definitely play US Mega Millions from Canada.
Even though it isn’t possible to purchase Mega Millions tickets directly from U.S. state lottery corporations online, there are no restrictions that prevent non-U.S. citizens from playing anywhere they choose.
Canadians are able to buy Mega Millions tickets online through agent services that purchase tickets on their behalf.
How to play Mega Millions from Canada
As a Canadian citizen, there are two ways to play Mega Millions from Canada and not infringe the law:
- Buy tickets in person in the USA
- Buy tickets ONLINE
Can I play Mega Millions online?
You definitely can. And in more countries than just Canada.
Please note that even though the official Mega Millions website can be accessed from Canada, it is only for use by U.S. citizens.
Canadians are only able to participate in the Mega Millions lotterythrough an online lottery service.
Are you pressed for time?
Scroll down to find out WHERE YOU CAN PLAY MEGA MILLIONS.
Currently, there are two methods for buying Mega Millions tickets online in Canada. There is nothing complicated about it.
How to purchase Mega Millions tickets in Canada
Canadians can buy Mega Millions tickets through online lottery services such as lottery messengers or, alternatively, by betting on lottery sites.
The first possibility is to use a messenger service, alternatively referred to as an agent.
By doing this, you buy a ticket online from a website or through a mobile app.
This service is referred to as a ‘messenger’ service because a real-life person purchases a ticket for you and then scans the ticket as proof of purchase.
Participants pay a small fee for this service in addition to the cost of the original ticket.
No other fees are deducted from your winnings. Very nice, don’t you agree?
Betting on the Lottery
The second possibility is a service where you bet on the result of the Mega Millions lottery.
In this instance, both odds and the jackpot are precisely the same. The only difference is not having an actual ticket, but betting in a similar way as you do with sports.
Watch this one-minute video to see how easy it is to purchase a lottery ticket online.
The main advantage is the price paid for your ticket, which is LESS EXPENSIVE in comparison to a messenger service.
When it comes to winnings, payouts are made by the site chosen to play at.
All licensed operators are insured against big jackpots, meaning that NO commissions will be charged on your gains.
Excitingly, all lottery winnings are tax free in Canada!
The only tax you have to pay on U.S. lottery winnings is 30% federal income tax that is applicable to Mega Millions winnings for non-U.S. citizens.
Where to play online in Canada
Lotteryguru is on a mission to discover and review every online lottery site!
Your location should not be a barrier against playing lotteries anywhere around the world.
You should be able to play wherever you wish, but we recommend selecting sites that are well established, easy to use and, most importantly, proven to PAY OUT YOUR WINNINGS.
We have verified dozens of different sites (small prizes won only), with the following being our favorites:
Lottofy gives you access to the 12 biggest lotteries around the world. This is a betting lottery site and the payouts are usually in the tens of MILLIONS.
Winning ODDS can be IMPROVED by playing in SYNDICATES.
In addition to lotteries, Lottyfy allows you to play scratch cards and casino games.
From Canada, it is easy to make deposits using Interac Wallet. And because tickets are so cheap, it’s a practical no-brainer!
Registration is super fast too, and because the site works so WELL on MOBILE, we doubt you’ll have any problems, but if you do come across any issues, support is very responsive and helpful.
Lottofy has only been running since 2020, but because of their MGA license, we are confident that your winnings will be secure.
At Giant Lottos you can bet on approximately 20 lotteries, including Spanish raffles.
Features SYNDICATES and big lotto BUNDLES, providing additional opportunities to participate.
It is a trusted site among many Canadians, who have been playing on it since 2011. Although the site is not licensed by any major authority, its longevity indicates its reliability.
The design of the website is modern and user-friendly. This is our subjective view, we did not encounter any issues while playing.
The only objective criticism is that ticket prices are slightly higher compared to our top choice, Lottofy. However, the prices are still within an acceptable range.
Jackpot.com is a fantastic name, don’t you think?
The site has the COMPLETE GAMBLING EXPERIENCE.
In addition to world-based lotteries, there are seven exclusive lotteries, scratch cards and hundreds of slot machines, and even a live casino!
INCREDIBLE! Now take your pick!
There are no welcome bonuses here due to the site only focusing on loyal customers.
Are you a regular player?
BIGGER BONUSES are available the more you tend to play. Also, subscriptions will help you SAVE MONEY!
Even though Jackpot.com has only been running since 2016, it is a very reputable company with appropriate licenses from the UK, Malta, Ireland and Sweden.
These three examples are the best online lottery sites for players from Canada. Still not enough for you? Check our list of online lottery sites and choose an alternative.
Can I Purchase Mega Millions Tickets at Authorized Retailers?
Absolutely. Anyone can directly purchase tickets from authorized lottery retailers in the United States.
If you’re thinking about crossing the border and purchasing Mega Millions tickets in person, remember to stay in the United States until the draw takes place, enabling you to claim your prize.
An obscure law (CHAPTER 4 §1305, item a.) stipulates that: “all persons are prohibited from importing into the United States from any foreign country, any … lottery ticket or any printed paper that may be used as a lottery ticket, or any advertisement of any lottery.”
This law signifies that it is illegal for Canadians to buy a Mega Millions ticket in the United States, afterwards returning to Canada and then re-entering the United States with their ticket at a later date!
As strange as this may sound, this has happened before.
Of course, buying a lottery ticket in person in the United States is definitely cheaper in terms of price, but buying lottery tickets online is FAR MORE CONVENIENT.
When is the Mega Millions draw?
Mega Millions draws take place at 23:00 EST twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays.
This is slightly different to Powerball, with draws taking place three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.
The following table lists the draw times for all time zones in the U.S. and in Canada. Mega Millions tickets can be bought up to 60 minutes before the draw.
Draw times take place at the same time on each draw day.
|Powerball Draw Time
|Ticket Sales Close
|Pacific Standard Time (PST)
|Mountain Standard Time (MST)
|Central Standard Time (CST)
|Eastern Standard Time (EST)
|Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City
|Atlantic Standard Time (AST)
|Newfoundland Standard Time (NST)
How to play Mega Millions
To play Mega Millions, choose six numbers from two separate pools - five numbers between 1 and 70 (the white balls)and one number between 1and 25 (the gold mega ball).
The odds of winning a prize of any kind are 1 in 24. The odds of exclusively hitting the gold Mega Ball are 1 in 37. There are nine prize levels, with the main jackpot typically starting at around $20 million, but may vary depending on sales.
Mega Millions tickets are $2.00 in the United States; however, what you pay for tickets in Canada will depend on your choice of lottery agent.
Depending on where you choose to play Mega Millions, there is often an option to add a Megaplier to your ticket for an additional cost. See details below.
The Megaplier feature costs an additional $1 per play, with the number being selected before the draw itself on Tuesday and Friday nights.
The Megaplier ONLY applies to non-jackpot prizes and multiplies them by 2, 3, 4, 5 or 10 times their original amount.
The only exception is the jackpot (for which the megaplier never applies), and the prize for exclusively matching the five main numbers (capped at US $1 million, irrespective of the multiplier).
Mega Millions Jackpot
Mega Millions has a guaranteed minimum jackpot of US $20 million, which can vary depending on sales.
The biggest ever winning Mega Millions jackpot was US $1.54 billion, bought as a SINGLE TICKET in South Carolina on October 23, 2018. This is still the biggest Mega Millions win in history, by one person who decided to remain anonymous!
Mega Millions winners outside the United States
The Mega Millions jackpot has never been won by anyone not living in the United States.
But take note! There have been multiple occasions when non-U.S. citizens and residents have won the second prize for matching the five main numbers.
For more details about the biggest lottery winners of all time, read our article Who are the biggest lottery winners of all time.
Mega Millions Winning Odds and Prizes
The odds of walking away with the Mega Millions jackpot are 1 in 302,575,350, with overall odds of winning a prize of any kind being 1 in 24.
The odds of matching the gold Mega Ball number are about 1 in 37, for a guaranteed prize of US $2.00.
Even though there are 25 Mega Ball numbers, the possibility of exclusively matching the Mega Ball itself is higher than 1 in 25 because a lot of people who get the Mega Ball also have numbers in the main draw, therefore taking home a higher prize.
Mega Millions Prizes
|5 + Mega Ball
Mega Millions Odds
|Winning Odds %
|5 + Mega Ball
|1 in 302,575,350
|1 in 12,607,306
|4 + Mega Ball
|1 in 931,001
|1 in 38,792
|3 + Mega Ball
|1 in 14,547
|1 in 606
|2 + Mega Ball
|1 in 693
|1 + Mega Ball
|1 in 89
|Mega Ball Only
|1 in 37
The Megaplier applies to all non-jackpot prizes, with a limit of $5 million for matching all five numbers.
In Powerball, however, the multiplier limit is capped at $2 million (compared to $5 million), but non-jackpot prizes can be multiplied up to 10 times by a Power Play. This gives Powerball a wider spread of winnings than Mega Millions below the main jackpot.
Odds for the Megaplier
Odds for the 10x Megaplier
|Prize Times Megaplier
|Prize Won x 5
|1 in 15
|Prize Won x 4
|1 in 5
|Prize Won x 3
|1 in 2.5
|Prize Won x 2
|1 in 3
Jackpot Winners - Annuity versus Cash
Winners of the Mega Millions jackpot can choose between a cash lump sum or taking home an annuity.
With an annuity, players receive 30 staggered payments over 29 years, with each yearly payment increasing by 5% until the 30th and last payment. These 30 payments add up to the total value of the annuity.
Annual payments can be better in some situations because they include interest payments, with your dependents being able to inherit these payments in the event of your death.
However, the large majority of Mega MIllions jackpot winners, around 98%, choose the cash option. Cash is king!
There is another difference between cash lump sums and annuities. In cash payouts, the entire jackpot fund is paid in full, whereas the annuity includes both the cash payout and the interest earned by investing this sum over the next 29 years.
How to claim lottery winnings when playing in Canada
All players, including Canadians, must claim their winnings through the state where they bought their tickets.
Depending on the state, ticket expiry dates will be between 90 days and one year - information that is regularly listed on the back of your ticket.
Winnings earned through online lottery services will be transferred to your online bank account as soon as the result of the draw is ratified.
Remember to check the terms and conditions of your preferred lottery service for potential delays in the payment of bigger winnings because of verification procedures, or for other motives.
This is a great example of the terms and conditions of an online lottery service: “We will pay your winnings as soon as we receive the corresponding funds from the applicable third party.”
Lottery Tax in Canada
Great news. Your lottery winnings won’t be taxed in Canada, but remember that most Mega Millions winnings claimed by non-U.S. residents will be subject to 30% federal tax.
Remember to check first with your lottery service center for taxation procedures. If you win the jackpot, they should be able to deal with all taxation procedures on your behalf, to make sure that you don't have to travel to the US to file paperwork before receiving your winnings.
Where can I watch the Mega Millions live draw in Canada
In the United States, the Mega Millions draw is televised live, so the best way to follow it in Canada is online at the official Megamillions website.
Frequently Asked Questions about Mega Millions
Can I Play Mega Millions from Canada?
Of course you can. Canadians and other non-U.S. citizens are permitted to play the Mega Millions lottery.
You do not have to live in the United States and, just importantly, you don’t have to pay lottery taxes in Canada!
Can I Buy Mega Millions Tickets Online?
There are at least two ways to play Mega Millions online when living in Canada, through a lottery messenger or by betting on lottery sites..
How Do I Play Mega Millions Online?
All you need to do is pick your numbers in the same way as a physical ticket, then purchase it.
Are there any Rule Differences when Playing Online?
No. There are no differences in comparison to buying a physical ticket or playing online.
What Time Is The Mega Millions Draw?
Powerball draws take place at 11:00 EST twice a week, on Tuesday and Fridays.
- 20:00 - Pacific Standard Time (PST)
- 21:00 - Mountain Standard Time (MST)
- 22:00 - Central Standard Time (CST)
- 23:00 - Eastern Standard Time (EST)
- 00:00 - Atlantic Standard Time (AST)
- 00:30 - Newfoundland Standard Time (NST)
What is a Mega Millions Megaplier?
A Megaplier multiplies non-jackpot prizes by 2, 3, 4, 5 or 10 TIMES!
This Megaplier number is randomly chosen before each draw.
It costs an additional US $1.00.
Is The Mega Millions Jackpot Always Split Between Winners?
Yes, but if you are the only winner, the prize is all yours and you don’t need to share it.
Take note that multiple people can win the same jackpot at the same time.
Is there a Mega Millions Maximum Jackpot?
No, the jackpot keeps on growing until someone eventually wins it.
Is there a Mega Millions Minimum Jackpot?
Yes. The Mega Millions jackpot starts at US $ 20 Million.
Is It Necessary to Claim My Winning Jackpot in the USA?
No, it isn’t. When playing online, the operator will automatically calculate your winnings for you and make the payout.
What Happens if I don’t Claim My Prize?
In this situation, winnings will be used for educational programs or added to future prize pools.
Is it Necessary to Pay a Commission when I Win?
No. When purchasing tickets through reputable websites, no commissions will be charged on winnings.
What is the Minimum Age for playing Mega Millions?
Players need to be at least 18 years of age to play Mega Millions.
What are the Odds of Winning Mega Millions?
The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are 1 in 302,575,350.
The odds of winning a prize of any kind are 1 in 24.
Is it Necessary to Pay Taxes After Winning Mega Millions?
In the United States, players have to pay 30% federal tax, but in Canada, it isn’t necessary to pay any tax!
Is it Possible to Buy Tickets for Future Draws?
Yes, many online lottery services have their own subscription services.