how to play Mega Millions
Tips & Tricks

How to Play Mega Millions

9 ways to win a prize 🏅

Do you like big jackpots (and you cannot lie)? Mega Millions might be the game for you. In 2018 Mega Millions reached a record-breaking jackpot of $1.537 billion and earlier in 2023 it reached $1.348 billion. That’s with a B.

So without further ado, here’s everything you need to know to have some mega fun playing your lucky numbers.

Mega Millions in a Nutshell…

Mega Millions is a multi-state lottery game that’s available in 44 states, Washington D.C. and the Virgin Islands.

Ticket Cost: $2.00

Jackpots: Starting at $20 million, determined by ticket sales (as of April 3, 2020)

Drawings: Tuesday and Friday at 11:00 pm ET

Overall odds of winning any prize: 1 in 24

Biggest Mega Millions jackpot in history: $1.537 billion (October 2018)

How To Play Mega Millions

Select 5 numbers from 1–70 and 1 Mega Ball number from 1–25. You can Quick Pick or choose your own lucky numbers. To win the jackpot, match all five numbers (order doesn’t matter) and the Mega Ball. When you order your ticket on Jackpocket, we'll send you the ticket scan for easy viewing in the app and a confirmation email with all your order details, including your ticket serial number. 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.

Mega Millions Prizes

There are 9 ways you can win a Mega Millions prize, ranging from the jackpot to $2. 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.

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?

If you match only the Mega Ball (and don't match any of the 5 regular numbers), you win a $2 prize and break even on the $2 cost of your Mega Millions ticket. 

Are two numbers worth anything in Mega Millions?

It depends what kind of numbers! If you match 1 regular number and the Mega Ball, the prize is $4. If you match 2 regular numbers only, there is no prize.

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 announced along with the winning numbers after the drawing.

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.

Cash vs annuity payouts

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.

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 38 total. Here's a breakdown of Mega Millions jackpot winners by state

Ready to Play?

Now that you know how to play Mega Millions, you’re ready for the next drawing. Good luck!

Ready to Play?

Download the Jackpocket app and choose your lucky numbers

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