Mega Millions Lottery General Information
Mega Millions drawing schedule: Mega Millions drawings are held at approximately 11 p.m. EST every Tuesday and Friday
night at WSB-TV in Atlanta, Georgia. Mega Millions sales are cut off at least 59 minutes before the draw. Check for local cut-off time.
Mega Millions drawing method: The winning Mega Millions numbers are drawn using mechanical machines and ball sets.
Five balls are drawn out of a drum with 56 numbered balls, and one Mega Ball is drawn out of a drum with 46 balls.
How to play Mega Millions
Just like any multi-number game, Mega Millions is a very easy game to play. Two sample panels from a Mega Millions playslip are shown here;
the actual playslip contains 5 panels.
Select 5 numbers from 1 through 56 on the upper section and 1 number from 1 through 46 on the lower section. Alternatively, you can
mark the Quick Pick (QP) (Easy Pick (EP) in some states) to let the Lottery terminal randomly select your numbers for you. If you want
to play more numbers, then fill out panels B, C, etc. Each one costs $1.
If you make an error, DO NOT ERASE, instead mark the Void box for that play.
Megaplier :If you want to multiply your lower-tier Mega Millions winnings up to 4 times, then just choose the Megaplier
feature on your Mega Millions play slip (not shown on our figure).
At every draw of Mega Millions, in addition to the 5 + MB winning numbers, a Megaplier number will also be drawn from 2 to 4.
A typical winning number is reported as,
04-19-26-28-39 MB 14 MP 4, or as 04-19-26-28-39**14 x 4
Since the order in which the numbers
are drawn doesn't matter, the winning numbers are reported in their natural order from smallest to highest.
The Megaplier does not affect the the jackpot prize. The prizes for matching 5-of-5 and lower will be multiplied by the drawn
Megaplier number. For our example winning number above, each lower prize will be multiplied by 4. See the table below.
Note that not all Mega Millions states have the Megaplier option.
How Do You Win Mega Millions? - Prizes and Odds
How much does Mega Millions pay for matching 5 or less numbers? The following is a summary winner prize payouts and the odds of winning.
|Prize Without||Prize With Megaplier|
|Match||Megaplier||x 2||x 3||x 4||Odds|
|5-of-5 + MB||$12,000,000 +||Not Applicable||1 in 175,711,536|
|5-of-5||$250,000||$500,000||$750,000||$1,000,000||1 in 3,904,701|
|4-of-5 + MB||$10,000||$20,000||$30,000||$40,000||1 in 689,065|
|4-of-5||$150||$300||$450||$600||1 in 15,313|
|3-of-5 + MB||$150||$300||$450||$600||1 in 13,781|
|3-of-5||$7||$14||$21||$28||1 in 306|
|2-of-5 + MB||$10||$20||$30||$40||1 in 844|
|1-of-5 + MB||$3||$6||$9||$12||1 in 141|
|Only MB||$2||$4||$6||$8||1 in 75|
Note that you do not win anything by matching 1 or 2 numbers without matching the MegaBall
Note also that unlike Powerball, the multiplier (Megaplier number) multiplies all lower prizes including the 5-of-5.
In Powerball the 5-of-5 match prize is $1,000,000 whatever the Power Play number is.
California Mega Millions payouts are all on pari-mutuel basis. Click here for the latest CA Mega Millions Prizes.
Claiming Mega Millions Prizes: Usually prizes of less than $600 can be claimed at any retailer. However, every state has
its own rules for claiming lottery prizes. Please see your state's info page on this web site or go to the Mega Millions page of
the official site of your state by clicking on the map further below.
Also, how long you have to collect a Mega Millions prize depends on the state where you bought your tickets. The time period for
claiming a prize ranges from 180 days to 1 year from the draw date.
About Mega Millions Jackpot
The Mega Millions advertised jackpot starts at approximately $12 million ($7 mil actual) and rolls over to the next drawing if nobody wins.
Initially the jackpot grows by a few millions, but later it by tens of millions after every draw. When there is a
winner it goes back to $12 million. The jackpot is always paid on pari-mutuel basis, that is, it is divided among the winners if
there are more than one.
The Mega Millions jackpot jackpot winner has the option of choosing the payment method as CASH or ANNUITY. The cash jackpot (about half of the advertised jackpot)
is all the money that Mega Millions has on hand from the sale of tickets in the game. If a player chooses the cash option, then the
lottery will pay the entire cash amount to the winner (less income tax withholding amounts required by federal and state laws).
In the case ANNUITY option, the advertised jackpot is paid in equal amounts over 26 years.
The following is sample payment examples listed on the Mega Millions web site.
|Advertised Jackpot||Annual Payout||Approx. Cash Value|
What this table tells us is that the cash option (the actual jackpot) of Mega Millions is 58.683% of the Advertised jackpot
Is the Mega Millions Jackpot as advertised? ABSOLUTELY NOT! The actual Mega Millions jackpot is about half of what is advertised. What the
Mega Millions people are saying is "You are dumb, we are smart. We can invest your money and double it over 26 years." And the smart
jackpot winners are saying "Kiss my A.." and they collect cash prizes.
You can see the list of Mega Millions jackpot winners here
Mega Millions States
The map shows the states where Mega Millions is currently played. Florida and Louisiana are the only 'lottery states' where
Mega Millions is not played. Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming do not play any lottery game.
You can click on a Mega Millions state to be directed to that state's Mega Millions page.
For DC click here.
Links to some Mega Millions Official Web Site Pages
Although we have tried to cover all the pertinent information of the Mega Millions lottery game, we recommend that you also look at the
following pages at the Mega Millions official web site.
Mega Millions at US-Lotteries.com
The main purpose of this web site (US-Lotteries.com) is to present a well formatted latest and past results; analysis and statistics
of past winning numbers, digits, pairs, triads; search to see if your favorite numbers have ever won or have come close to winning
the jackpot; mathematical tools such as combinations generators and wheels. The complete list of all Mega Millions pages of this
web site are listed below.