How to Play Mega Millions
- Choose five main numbers between 1 and 70
- Choose a Mega Ball number between 1 and 25
- Choose whether to play the Megaplier for an additional $1
- Purchase tickets before the cut-off time (this varies by state; check with the state lottery for ticket purchase cut-off times)
Mega Millions draws take place every Tuesday and Friday in Atlanta, Georgia at 11pm ET.
What is the Megaplier?
For an additional $1, players can opt-in to play the Megaplier, which can significantly increase the value of the non-jackpot prizes on offer.
On the night of each Mega Millions draw, a Megaplier number from 2 to 5 will also be drawn. Any non-jackpot prizes that participating players win will then be multiplied by this Megaplier number. The option to play the Megaplier is offered by all states that participate in the Mega Millions lottery, with the exception of California.
See below for some examples of how potential prizes can grow with a Megaplier:
|Numbers Matched||2x Megaplier||3x Megaplier||4x Megaplier||5x Megaplier|
|Match 4 + Mega Ball||$10,000||$15,000||$20,000||$25,000|
|Match 3 +Mega Ball||$100||$150||$200||$250|
|Match 2 + Mega Ball||$10||$15||$20||$25|
|Match 1 + Mega Ball||$4||$6||$8||$10|
|Match 0 + Mega Ball||$2||$3||$4||$5|
The odds of each Megaplier being drawn are as follows:
|Megaplier||Odds of being drawn|
|2x||1 in 3|
|3x||1 in 2.5|
|4x||1 in 5|
|5x||1 in 15|
Just the Jackpot
Ticket holders also have the option to play Just the Jackpot. Players pay $3 for two lines, which would normally cost $4, but they can only win the jackpot. There is no prize for matching anything less than five main numbers and the Mega Ball.
This feature is not currently available in New Hampshire.
Playing Mega Millions Online
You can take part in Mega Millions draws online in four easy steps:
- Use the play banner below to go to a regulated online service
- Pick your Mega Millions numbers, select the number of draws in which you wish to participate and add your entries to your cart
- Create and fund an account to pay for your purchase
- After you have completed your purchase, your chosen numbers will be stored securely in your account, so just check back after the draw to see if you’re a winner.
Winnings from lower tier prizes are paid directly into your online account. In the even that you win a large prize, the service will guide you through the claims process.
Playing Mega Millions In-Store
You can buy Mega Millions tickets from authorised lottery retailers in 44 states, plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Some states allow in-store players to enter multiple draws in advance (see the relevant state lottery websites for more information). Note that if you have selected to play the Megaplier, this will be applied to every draw you enter in advance.
Follow the steps below to enter the Mega Millions draw in-store:
- On your ticket, mark five main numbers and a Mega Ball, or mark the Quick Pick options for a random selection
- Mark the box if you want to play the Megaplier for an additional $1
- Select the number of weeks of advance plays you wish to purchase (if applicable)
- Pay for your ticket with the retailer, and ensure you take a copy
- Sign the back of your Mega Millions ticket and keep it safe until after the draw
Playing Online vs. In-store
This handy table shows the comparison between playing Mega Millions online and at a retail store:
|Online Players||In-Store Players|
|Location||Play from anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection.||You can only play at official stores in participating states.|
|Time||Websites offer tickets 24 hours a day.||You are limited by varying store opening hours.|
|Security||Your tickets are safe in your online account. You cannot lose or damage them.||You must retain your physical ticket to claim a prize. If it goes missing or is damaged, you will not receive your money.|
|Convenience||The service emails you to tell you if you win a prize.||You must remember to check your tickets within the claims period for your state.|
Most states that participate in Mega Millions require that players be at least 18 years old in order to participate. However, Nebraska residents must be 19 if they want to purchase tickets, and if you're in Arizona, Iowa or Louisiana, you'll have to wait until you're 21 if you want to play Mega Millions or participate in any other lottery or instant win game.
You have to buy a ticket for a Mega Millions drawing if you want a chance to win a Mega Millions prize. You can't win a prize for any lottery, competition, or sweepstakes that you never entered in the first place, and Mega Millions will never contact anyone to inform them of a win. Players who think that they have winning tickets must contact Mega Millions instead. Anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is attempting to set you up for a lottery scam. Please visit the Scams page for more information.