how to play Mega Millions
Tips & Tricks

How to Play Mega Millions

9 ways to win Mega Millions 🏅

Do you like big jackpots (and you cannot lie)? Mega Millions might be the lottery game for you. In August 2023, Mega Millions reached a record-breaking jackpot of $1.602 billion, and earlier in 2024, it reached $1.128 billion. That’s billion with a B. 

So without further ado, here’s everything you need to know to have some mega fun playing your lucky lottery numbers. And when you're ready? Order your Mega Millions ticket right on the Jackpocket lottery app and go for gold!

In this article we'll cover:

Mega Millions Overview

Mega Millions is a multi-state lottery game that’s available in 45 states, Washington D.C. and the Virgin Islands. Here's the scoop:

Ticket Cost: $2.00

Jackpots: Starting at $20 million, determined by ticket sales

Drawings: Tuesday and Friday at 11:00 PM ET

Overall odds of winning any prize: 1 in 24

Biggest Mega Millions jackpot in history: $1.602 billion won in Florida on August 8, 2023

Last jackpot won: The last Mega Millions jackpot was won in Illinois on June 4, 2024.

⚡️ Feeling inspired? Get in the game on Jackpocket lottery app for mobile or desktop.

How To Play Mega Millions

Select 5 regular numbers from 1–70 and 1 Mega Ball number from 1–25. You can select the Quick Pick option or choose your own lucky numbers. To win the jackpot, match all five numbers (order doesn’t matter) and the Mega Ball.

Once you have your ticket, all that's left to do is wait for the drawing! Mega Millions drawings are held at 11:00 PM ET on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Can you play Mega Millions online?

Lottery fans in 17 states (and climbing) can order Mega Millions tickets online using Jackpocket, your Mega Millions app.

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Select 5 regular numbers from 1–70 and 1 Mega Ball number from 1–25.

What's the Mega Ball?

The Mega Ball is an extra 6th ball that is drawn in the Mega Millions lottery game. It's the yellow bonus ball that gives lottery fans an additional chance to win a prize. If your Mega Millions ticket matches the numbers on both the regular balls and the Mega Ball, you could win a big jackpot or a smaller prize, depending on the combination of numbers you have.

Mega Millions Prizes

How many ways are there to win Mega Millions? Let's count 'em. You can win a Mega Millions payout with one of nine different number combinations, and the prizes range from $2 to the grand prize. For example: if you match all five numbers but don’t match the Mega Ball, you win $1 million. If you only match the Mega Ball, you break even with a $2 payout.

Bottom line: you have a 1 in 24 shot at winning any prize. The chart below describes the possible matches, the prizes, and the odds of winning. 

A breakdown of prizes and odds for Mega Millions
Match Win Odds
5 numbers + Mega Ball Jackpot 1 in 302,575,350
5 numbers $1,000,000 1 in 12,607,306
4 numbers + Mega Ball $10,000 1 in 931,001
4 numbers $500 1 in 38,792
3 numbers + Mega Ball $200 1 in 14,547
3 numbers $10 1 in 606
2 numbers + Mega Ball $10 1 in 693
1 number + Mega Ball $4 1 in 89
Mega Ball $2 1 in 37

What happens if you match the Mega Ball only?

Do you win anything with one number on Mega Millions? If you match just the Mega Ball (and don't match any of the five regular numbers), you win a $2 prize and break even on the $2 cost of your Mega Millions ticket. However, If you match one white ball but not the Mega Ball, there is no prize.

Are two numbers worth anything in Mega Millions?

It depends on what kind of numbers! If you match one regular number and the Mega Ball, the prize is $4. If you match two white balls only, there is no prize.

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You can win a Mega Millions payout with one of nine different number combinations, and the prizes range from $2 to the jackpot.

What is the Megaplier?

For an extra $1 per game, you can add the Megaplier to your Mega Millions ticket. This multiplies your prize amount — not including the jackpot — by up to five times. The “multiplier” number is selected right before the Mega Millions draw.

Learn more:  5 times adding the $1 multiplier to a lottery ticket paid off

How do you claim a Mega Millions prize?

If you bought your Mega Millions ticket in person from a retailer, check your state lottery website for more information on how to claim your prize. It can vary by state. For example, in Texas, prizes up to $599 are redeemable from any Texas State lottery retailer.

Lucky for you, when you order your ticket on Jackpocket, we automatically alert you when you win! For smaller lottery prizes (usually under $600 depending on your state), Jackpocket credits your account for the full amount. For larger prizes, we arrange to have the ticket securely delivered to you so that you can claim your prize from the state lottery.

Learn more: What happens if I win on Jackpocket?

Mega Millions payout: Cash vs annuity

If you hit the Mega Millions jackpot, you get to choose how you want to be paid! The Mega Millions annuity is paid in first with 1 payment when you win, followed by 29 annual payments. Or you can go with the cash option—a one-time, lump sum that is equal to the cash in the Mega Millions prize pool. When Mega Millions announces the estimated jackpot size before a drawing, they include the size of the cash option.

Learn more: Choosing lottery lump sum vs annuity

Mega Millions States

Ready to play but curious if the Mega Millions lottery is available in your state? Check out the full list states that offer the game:

*Jackpocket state!

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Mega Millions is a multi-state lottery game that’s available in 45 states, Washington D.C. and the Virgin Islands.

Which state has the most Mega Millions winners?

A total of 28 individual states have taken home a Mega Millions jackpot. New York has the most Mega Millions jackpot wins with 43 total. Here's a breakdown of Mega Millions jackpot winners by state

Is Mega Millions better than Powerball?

We don't play favorites, but we did breakdown everything from odds, jackpots, and prize levels fo ya. Here's everything you need to know about Powerball vs Mega Millions.

Get Your Mega Millions Ticket

Now that you know how to play Mega Millions, you’re ready to grab your ticket for the next drawing. Order you ticket now via the Jackpocket app for iOS or Android or visit play.jackpocket.com to order your ticket online. Good luck!

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