Mega Millions Prizes
Mega Millions offers nine different prize tiers, from $2 for matching the Mega Ball alone, to the jackpot, which is won when all five main numbers and the Mega Ball are matched. The 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 that are available 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. It costs an additional $1 per line to play, and can increase non-jackpot amounts to up to five times their starting value.
Just before each drawing, the Megaplier number is also randomly selected, applying either a 2x, 3x, 4x, or 5x multiplier for all winners who opted to play. The Megaplier is the same for all players, and is available in all participating states except California.
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 how this add-on can increase your prize amount:
|Prize Tier||Without Megaplier||X2||X3||X4||X5|
|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|
|Odds of Being Drawn||N/A||1 in 3||1 in 2.5||1 in 5||1 in 15|
Just the Jackpot
You can also elect to just play for the Mega Millions jackpot, 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 you must match all five main balls and the Mega Ball to win.
This version of the game is not currently available to play in New Hampshire.
Cash vs Annuity
If you win the 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 money 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.
All prizes must be claimed in the state where the tickets were purchased. Each state has its own rules about when winnings 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 lottery 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 winnings of more than $5,000, and most states levy a local withholding, although there are ten which 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%|