How to Claim Mega Millions Winnings
Retail players can only claim Mega Millions prizes in the state where they purchased their ticket, although you do not have to be a resident of that state, or even a US citizen to win lottery awards. Find out the rules below for how to claim Mega Millions prizes in all the different participating states, as well as for playing online.
What to do With a Winning Ticket
Anyone who chooses their Mega Millions numbers online is automatically notified of any win and the prize is paid directly into their account.
If you play via an authorized retailer, make sure to sign the back of your ticket. Whether you win the jackpot or a smaller prize, this will show the ticket belongs to you and guarantee that nobody else can try to claim your money. It may also help you to be reunited with your ticket if you should happen to lose it, but it is important to store any winning ticket in a safe place until you are ready to come forward.
The method for claiming a prize also depends on how much you win:
$599 and under
If you win a prize of under $600, you should be able to claim your winnings from an authorized retailer in the state where you bought your ticket. However, it is worth checking the policy of the individual store as they may not carry enough cash.
Another way to claim is to mail your ticket to your state lottery office. You must also fill out a prize claim form and provide identification.
$600 and over
You can claim prizes of $600 and above from one of your state lottery’s district centers. It may also be possible to claim your prize by mail, but you should check with your local office first.
Mega Millions jackpot winners need to contact the state lottery where they played and arrange to collect their money from the relevant headquarters.
Mega Millions Claims Period
Mega Millions tickets remain valid for different lengths of time, depending on where the ticket was bought. The following table tells you how long you have to pick up your prize:
|New Mexico||90 days|
|Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington State, Washington D.C, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming||180 days|
|U.S. Virgin Islands||6 months|
|California*, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont||1 year|
*California players have one year to collect a jackpot prize, but only 180 days to claim a non-jackpot prize.