Mega Millions is a world-famous lottery played across 45 states plus the
District of Columbia and the US Virgin Islands. The only states that don’t
participate are Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada and Utah.
Mega Millions draws are held twice weekly on Tuesdays and Fridays at
23:00 US Eastern Time.
Tickets cost $2.00 each.
To play Mega Millions, choose five numbers between 1 and 70
and a Mega Ball number between 1 and 25, or go for a Quick
Pick for randomly generated numbers.
Players can activate the Mega Millions Megaplier for an additional $1.00 in
most participating states, consisting of a Megaplier ball that is drawn before
the main draw, which increases non-jackpot prizes by up to five times.
Mega Millions has a minimum guaranteed jackpot of $40
million, which was temporarily reduced to $20 million in 2020 due to
the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mega Millions is a rollover lottery with no caps, with the jackpot
increasing by a minimum of $5 million each time a rollover occurs.
The biggest winning Mega Millions jackpot was $1.537 billion on October 23,
2018! One lucky ticket holder won it and took the cash option for a lump sum of
The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are 1 in 302,575,350, which
are the longest jackpot winning odds for any lottery anywhere in the world.
Prizes can be won at nine different tiers. The overall odds of winning a
prize are 1 in 24.
Players have between 180 and 365 days to claim Mega Millions prizes, with
this time limit being determined by the state in which the Mega Millions ticket
Jackpot winners can take the prize as a cash lump sum or in 30 annual
All US lottery winnings over $600 are reported to the Inland Revenue
Service, with prizes over $5,000 having 25% of their value deducted for federal
Players in California, Delaware, Florida, Mississippi, New Hampshire, South
Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, Wyoming and the US Virgin Islands pay no
state taxes on lottery wins, while players in other participating states pay
between 2.9% and 8.82% state tax depending on their location, with those living
in New York City paying an additional 3.8% municipal tax.
Overseas players should check local tax laws to find out if tax needs to be
paid on winnings at home.
Players must be at least 18 years of age to buy Mega
Millions tickets in most states, with the following exceptions:
Mega Millions tickets can be purchased from authorized lottery retailers in
all participating states, with some participating state lotteries also selling
Mega Millions tickets via their official websites and mobile applications.
Players in non-participating states and from overseas can play Mega Millions
on Lottery Agent websites.
Originally called The Big Game when it was launched in 1996, the game was
rebranded as Mega Millions in 2002.
Despite being a multi-state lottery, the Mega Millions trademark is
exclusively owned by Illinois Lottery.