Mega Millions Prizes
The Mega Millions lottery offers nine different prize tiers, from $2 for matching the Mega Ball alone, to the jackpot prize, which is won when all five main numbers and the Mega Ball are matched. The Mega Millions jackpot starts at $40 million and rolls over to the next draw if it is not won. With no cap in place, jackpots can easily run into the hundreds of millions of dollars.
The table below details the different prizes on offer in Mega Millions and the odds of winning each one:
|Prize Tier||Odds of Winning||Prize|
|Match 5 + Mega Ball||1 in 302,575,350||Jackpot|
|Match 5||1 in 12,607,306||$1 million|
|Match 4 + Mega Ball||1 in 931,001||$10,000|
|Match 4||1 in 38,792||$500|
|Match 3 + Mega Ball||1 in 14,547||$200|
|Match 3||1 in 606||$10|
|Match 2 + Mega Ball||1 in 693||$10|
|Match 1 + Mega Ball||1 in 89||$4|
|Match 0 + Mega Ball||1 in 37||$2|
|Overall chances of winning: 1 in 23.9|
The Megaplier is a supplementary game that you can opt in to when you purchase a ticket for the standard Mega Millions draw. The Megaplier costs an additional $1 per line to play, and can increase non-jackpot prizes to up to five times their starting value.
Just before each Mega Millions draw, the Megaplier is also randomly selected, applying either a 2x, 3x, 4x, or 5x multiplier to all non-jackpot prizes won by players who opted to play. The Megaplier is the same for all players, and is available in all states that participate in Mega Millions.
Note that you must elect to play the Megaplier at the point you purchase your Mega Millions ticket. You cannot opt in at a later point.
The table below shows the prizes on offer when you play the Megaplier:
|Prize Tier||Prize||X2 (1 in 3)||X3 (1 in 2.5)||X4 (1 in 5)||X5 (1 in 15)|
|5 + Mega Ball||Jackpot||Jackpot||Jackpot||Jackpot||Jackpot|
|5||$1 million||$2 million||$3 million||$4 million||$5 million|
|4 + Mega Ball||$10,000||$20,000||$30,000||$40,000||$50,000|
|3 + Mega Ball||$200||$400||$600||$800||$1,000|
|2 + Mega Ball||$10||$20||$30||$40||$50|
|1 + Mega Ball||$4||$8||$12||$16||$20|
|0 + Mega Ball||$2||$4||$6||$8||$10|
Just the Jackpot
You can also elect to just play for the Mega Millions jackpot prize, foregoing the chance to win any other prizes. It costs less to play Just the Jackpot - $3 for two lines, rather than the usual $4 – but means that the only prize on offer is the jackpot, which is awarded for matching all five main balls and the Mega Ball.
Just the Jackpot is not currently available to play in New Hampshire.
Cash vs Annuity
If you win the Mega Millions jackpot, you have the option of receiving your winnings as either a cash lump sum, or an annuity payment.
The annuity option entitles you to the full advertised jackpot amount (minus taxes), in 30 payments over 29 years. The first payment will be made immediately and each subsequent payment increases by 5%.
The benefits of annuity payments are that you receive the full jackpot amount, as opposed to a reduced cash value (see below), and you have the security of receiving a steady income for the foreseeable future.
Many winners choose to receive the jackpot as a one-off cash lump sum. However, the value of a lump sum payout is always less than it would be for the annuity option. This is because the cash prize represents the actual funds in the jackpot pool at the time of the draw, while the annuity value is based on the lottery’s expected return from investing the cash sum over 29 years. The annuity sum is guaranteed to the player and they receive the full amount even if the lottery makes investments that do not achieve the expected return.
If an annuity winner dies before receiving all of their payments, the prize transfers to their estate or to a beneficiary designated by them. Different states have different rules on whether the estate receives annual payments or the balance of the award.
Mega Millions prizes must be claimed in the state where the tickets were purchased. Each state has its own rules about when prizes must be claimed and it is the responsibility of the player to come forward in time. Visit the How to Claim page for more information.
Winning tickets must be checked and validated by the lottery operator in the state where the ticket was bought, or by an agent of the operator, such as an authorized retailer, before prizes can be paid out.
Taxes on Lottery Prizes
Anyone who wins a large Mega Millions prize must pay federal taxes in the US, regardless of whether or not they are a resident. This is set at a rate depending on your total annual income (including money from lottery winnings). The lottery makes an immediate 25 percent federal withholding on prizes of more than $5,000, and most states levy a local withholding, although Tennessee and South Dakota do not.
Below are the tax withholdings by state, although certain other factors – such as residency – could affect these. For further advice, consult a professional financial advisor.
|U.S Virgin Islands||0%|
|Arkansas, South Carolina||7%|