How to Play Mega Millions

Mega Millions can be played by visiting authorized retailers in any of the 46 participating jurisdictions. Simply follow the steps below and you could be in with a chance of becoming a multi-millionaire:

  1. Retailer

    1. Pick up a Mega Millions playslip from a licensed retailer in any of the 46 participating jurisdictions

  2. Main Numbers

    On the playslip, pick five main numbers between 1 and 70

  3. Bonus

    Pick one Mega Ball between 1 and 25

  4. Quick Pick

    Alternatively, select the Quick Pick or Easy Pick option to have your numbers randomly selected

  5. Repeat

    Repeat these steps for each line of numbers you want to play. Each line costs $2

  6. Draws

    Select how many draws you wish to enter in advance (where available)

  7. Multiplier

    Choose whether to play the Megaplier for an additional $1 per line (Note: California does not offer the Megaplier option)

  8. Payment

    Pay the retailer for your ticket(s) - remember to sign your name on the backs of the tickets, and to store them safely until after the draw

Mega Millions drawings take place on Tuesday and Friday at 11:00pm ET.

How to Win Prizes in Mega Millions

Six numbered lottery balls – five main balls and a Mega Ball – are dispensed at random in every Mega Millions drawing. The five main numbers are drawn from a pool of 70 balls, and the Mega Ball is drawn from a separate pool of 25 numbers.

You win prizes by matching the numbers you selected with those drawn in the lottery. The more numbers that you match, the bigger the prize. The smallest prize is won by just matching the Mega Ball, while the jackpot is won by matching all five main numbers and the Mega Ball. There are nine different prize tiers in total, details of which can be found on the Prizes page.

Playing the Megaplier

The Megaplier costs an additional $1 per line, and is available in every participating jurisdiction except for California. To play it, simply mark the option on your playslip. You don’t need to select any further numbers.

On the night of the draw, a Megaplier number between 2 and 5 will be randomly selected. If you opted to play the Megaplier, any non-jackpot prizes you win are multiplied by this number. The bonus is the same for all players who paid to add the Megaplier to their tickets.

See the Prizes page for more information about the kind of money that can be won when you play the Megaplier.

Playing Just the Jackpot

Just the Jackpot offers a cheaper way to play Mega Millions. It costs just $3 for two lines, rather than the usual $4, but the only prize that you can win is the jackpot. This means you'll need to match all five main numbers as well as the Mega Ball to win – match fewer than this and you don't win a prize.

Ticket Cut-Off Times

Ticket sales close at different times on the day of the draw, depending on the jurisdiction; take a look at the table below to find the deadlines for buying Mega Millions tickets in each participating state.

Jurisdiction Ticket Sales Cut-Off Time
Arizona 6:59pm (MST) / 9:59pm (ET)
Arkansas 9:45pm (CT) / 10:45pm (ET)
California* 7:00pm (PT) / 10:00pm (ET)
Colorado 7:30pm (MT) / 9:30pm (ET)
Connecticut 9:45pm (CT) / 10:45pm (ET)
Delaware 9:45pm (ET)
Florida 10:00pm (ET)
Georgia 9:59pm (ET)
Idaho 8:45pm (MDT) / 10:45pm (ET)
Illinois 9:45pm (ET)
Indiana 10:44pm (ET)
Iowa 8:49pm (CT) / 9:49pm (ET)
Kansas 8:59pm (CT) / 9:59pm (ET)
Kentucky 9:45pm (CT) / 10:45pm (ET)
Louisiana 9:00pm (CT) / 10:00pm (ET)
Maine 9:50pm (ET)
Maryland 10:45pm (ET)
Massachusetts 10:45pm (ET)
Michigan 10:45pm (ET)
Minnesota 9:00pm (CT) / 10:00pm (ET)
Missouri 8:59pm (CT) / 9:59pm (ET)
Montana 8:00pm (MDT) / 10:00pm (ET)
Nebraska 9:00pm (CT) / 10:00pm (ET)
New Hampshire 9:50pm (ET)
New Jersey 10:45pm (ET)
New Mexico 8:45pm (MDT) / 10:45pm (ET)
New York 10:45pm (ET)
North Carolina 10:45pm (ET)
North Dakota 8:58pm (CT) / 9:58 (ET)
Ohio 10:45pm (ET)
Oklahoma 8:59pm (CT) / 9:59pm (ET)
Oregon 7:00pm (PDT) / 10:00pm (ET)
Pennsylvania 9:59pm (ET)
Rhode Island 9:50pm (ET)
South Carolina 10:00pm (ET)
South Dakota 9:00pm (CT) / 10:00pm (ET)
Tennessee 9:45pm (CT) / 10:45pm (ET)
Texas 9:45pm (CT) / 10:45pm (ET)
U.S. Virgin Islands 10:00pm (AST) / 10:00pm (ET)
Vermont 9:50pm (ET)
Virginia 10:45pm (ET)
Washington 7:45pm (PDT) / 10:45pm (ET)
Washington D.C 10:45pm (ET)
West Virginia 9:59pm (ET)
Wisconsin 9:00pm (CT) / 10:00pm (ET)
Wyoming 9:00pm (CT) / 10:00pm (ET)

How to Claim Prizes

If you play Mega Millions by buying tickets from a licensed retailer, you can only claim prizes from the same state in which you bought the winning ticket. How you claim your winnings depends on the size of the prize and the state in which you're playing. 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 a licensed retailer, before prizes can be paid out.

If you play Mega Millions online, you will be automatically notified of a win, and receive winnings up to a certain amount straight into your account.

For full details of how to claim Mega Millions prizes, see the How to Claim page.