FAQs for the Powerball, Mega Millions Launch in Mississippi

Monday January 27th 2020

Powerball and Mega Millions tickets will go on sale in Mississippi for the first time on Thursday, January 30, offering residents the chance at jackpots that often climb to hundreds of millions of dollars.

Mississipians have been playing scratch-off games since the Mississippi Lottery officially launched on November 25, 2019, and now the two biggest multi-state games are coming to the Magnolia State.

The state originally sold four scratch-off games, and now offers 12, with prizes between $2,000 and $200,000. Sales from scratch-offs since November have been over $80 million, with players claiming over $44 million in prizes. Major wins include two $100,000 prizes, 18 $20,000 prizes, and one $15,000 prize.

On January 22, the Mississippi Lottery Corporation (MLC) announced that it had made its first payment of $7,621,232.37 to the State Treasury. "We are very pleased with these early results," said Tom Shaheen, MLC President. "Retailer and player support have been fantastic in our collective efforts to raise money for roads, bridges and education needs for the state of Mississippi."

Powerball and Mega Millions will dramatically increase the top prizes available in Mississippi. Both lotteries have a starting jackpot of $40 million that keeps growing until it's won. There's no upper limit on how big the jackpots can get, and they often reach hundreds of millions of dollars.

The biggest Powerball jackpot was $1.58 billion, won by three ticket holders on January 13, 2016. The largest Mega Millions prize wasn't far behind at $1.537 billion, won on October 23, 2018 by a woman in South Carolina who chose to stay anonymous.

Here are some fast facts to answer your questions if you're playing Powerball and Mega Millions for the first time.

Mississippi Lottery FAQs

Where Can I Buy Tickets?

Powerball and Mega Millions tickets can be purchased in Mississippi from existing Lottery-approved retailers who are currently selling scratch-off tickets, such as convenience stores and grocery stores. There are expected to be around 1,500 retailers by Thursday.

You must be 21 or older to buy lottery tickets in Mississippi.

How Do I Claim A Prize?

For Powerball and Mega Millions, the deadline to claim a prize is 180 days from the date of the drawing. That's longer than the scratch-offs deadline, which is 90 days from the end of the game.

Prizes under $600 will be paid direct by Lottery retailers. The original winning ticket is required to claim.

Prizes from $600 to $99,999 may be claimed by mail or at the Mississippi Lottery Headquarters at 1080 River Oaks Drive, Bldg. B-100, Flowood, MS, 39232. The winner will need a claim form, proper identification, and the original ticket.

Prizes of $100,000 and above must be claimed at the Mississippi Lottery Headquarters.

The Mississippi Lottery has recently warned of a scam after a player received an email saying they had won a prize. "You will never receive an email from us notifiying you of a win," the Lottery said. "the Mississippi Lottery does not contact the winner. We don't even know who the winner is until they step forward to claim a prize."

Can I Stay Anonymous if I Win?

Yes, lottery winners in Mississippi can remain anonymous. The Mississippi Lottery is not allowed to disclose a winner's identity without the winner's written permission.

Powerball FAQs

When Are the Drawings?

Powerball drawings are held every Wednesday and Saturday night at at 10:59pm ET / 9:59 pm CT. The draw takes place in Tallahassee, Florida.

How Do I Play?

  • Choose five numbers from 1-69 for the white main balls. Choose one number from 1-26 for the red Powerball. If you'd like some inspiration for your picks, why not check out the Powerball frequency statistics for "hot" and "cold" numbers?
  • Select your own numbers or use a number generator to randomly choose them for you.
  • Decide whether to add Power Play, which multiplies non-jackpot prizes.
  • Check your ticket to see if you've won a prize. With a second prize of $1 million and nine ways to win, make sure you hang onto your ticket even if you didn't win the jackpot! 

What is Power Play?

Power Play is an option that multiplies non-jackpot prizes. You can add Power Play to your ticket for an extra $1.00 per line. You don't need to pick an extra number; just check the box on the playslip. Power Play can't be played by itself - it can only be added to your ticket.

A Power Play number is drawn before the main numbers in every Powerball drawing. It can be 2, 3, 4, 5 or even 10 if the jackpot is below $150 million.

If you added Power Play and win any prize other than the jackpot, the prize value is multiplied. The Match 5 $1 million prize for matching all five main numbers becomes $2 million with Power Play, no matter what the Power Play number is. All other non-jackpot prizes are multiplied by the Power Play number.

How Do I Win?

Powerball has nine prize levels. The jackpot starts at a minimum of $40 million and rolls over, or increases, until it's won. There's no limit on how high the jackpot can go. Win the jackpot by matching all six numbers drawn.

The second prize tier is Match 5 - win by matching the five main numbers but not the Powerball. Match 5 has a guaranteed $1 million prize, although this doubles to $2 million if you added Power Play.

The remaining prize levels also have fixed prize amounts and can be multiplied by the Power Play number.

Mega Millions FAQs

When Are the Drawings?

Mega Millions drawings take place on Tuesday and Friday nights at 11:00 pm ET / 10:00 pm CT. The draw is held in Atlanta, Georgia.

How Do I Play?

  • Choose five numbers from 1-70 for the main balls. Choose one number from 1-25 for the Mega Ball. If you'd like some inspiration, visit the Mega Millions Frequency page to see the latest statistics.
  • Select your own numbers or use a number generator to randomly choose them for you.
  • Decide whether to add Megaplier, which multiplies non-jackpot prizes.
  • Check your ticket to see if you've won a prize. There are nine ways to win and a second prize of $1 million, so don't throw away your ticket if you don't win the jackpot!

What is Megaplier?

Megaplier is an add-on that multiplies any prize other than the jackpot. Players can add Megaplier to their ticket for an extra $1.00 per play. During each drawing, a Megaplier number between 2 and 5 is drawn. Any non-jackpot prizes for players who added Megaplier are multiplied by the Megaplier number drawn.

What is Just the Jackpot?

Mega Millions offers the option to only play for the jackpot - players must match all five main numbers and the Mega Ball to win. No other prize levels are able to be won with this option, and the cost to play two lines is $3.00 rather than the normal price of $4.00.

How Do I Win?

Players can win Mega Millions prizes in nine different tiers. The top prize is a $40 million starting jackpot that increases until someone wins it. There's no limit on how big the jackpot can grow. Win the jackpot by matching all six numbers drawn.

The second prize is Match 5 - win by matching the five main numbers but not the Mega Ball. Match 5 has a guaranteed $1 million prize, although this is multiplied if you added Megaplier. The other prize tiers have set cash amounts and are also multiplied with Megaplier.

Impressive Jackpots This Week

The Powerball jackpot currently stands at $394 million, and Mega Millions also has an eye-catching $141 million top prize. By the time Mississippi residents buy their tickets on Thursday, the jackpots could have climbed even higher!

The first Mega Millions draw Mississippians will be able to play will be on Friday, January 31, followed by the Powerball draw on Saturday, February 1.

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