How to Play Mega Millions

Current Jackpot: $396,000,000

With a jackpot hitting $656 Million, the MegaMillions Lottery is one of the biggest lottery drawings in the United States.

Have you ever wished you could be a jackpot winner?

Guess what? You could be! But remember, you have to buy a ticket to have a chance of snagging one of these magnificent jackpots! Not to worry if you don't live in America. You can still play this popular lotto game simply by buying tickets online.

Here is how you play:

Players may pick six numbers from two separate pools of numbers: five different numbers from 1 to 56, and one number from 1 to 46. You win the jackpot by matching all six winning numbers in a drawing.

Mega Millions Lottery Facts

The game began on August 31, 1996 as The Big Game. The first drawing took place on September 6, 1996, with six states participating: Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan and Virginia.

Mega Millions lottery jackpots have a minimum of $15 million and this jackpot increases by at least $5 million every time there is no top prize winner from a draw. In the beginning, Mega Millions jackpot winners could only receive their winngs in annuitized payments. However, this was changed in 1999 when the cash option was added.

So, if you win the jackpot, you have two choices of how to get your money:

  • Lump sum payment, you get it all at once
  • 30 annual payments that increase by 5% every year

Please bear in mind that every lottery winner will need to pay any federal and state taxes there might be. Some states do not deduct state taxes from lottery winnings while others do not have state income taxes at all. Please refer to our Mega Millions Taxes on Lottery Winnings to read more about the taxes you will need to pay from your lotto winning.

As of January 31st, 2010, in an agreement reached earlier between Mega Millions Lottery and the Multi State Lottery Association; the sale of Mega Millions tickets was expanded to cross-sell with Powerball Lottery tickets in U. S. jurisdictions. This greatly increases the locations where players may purchase the ever-popular Mega Millions lottery tickets, along with Powerball tickets! To date, Mega Millions is available in 44 states plus the US Virgin Islands and the Disrict of Columbia.

Mega Millions Lottery Drawings

Held at WSB-TV studio in Atlanta, Georgia every Tuesday and Friday at 11:00PM Eastern Time drawings are conducted under rigid security procedures:

  • The drawing machines and ball sets for each game are randomly selected and certified by outside auditors, to ensure that balls and equipment allow each number an equal chance of being drawn.
  • Each Lottery drawing machine and ball set used goes through a series of pre-drawing tests to ensure the absolute randomness of the results.
  • There also are a series of post-drawing tests, which are conducted as part of the certification process.
  • Two draw officials who are lottery employees and one member of an independent auditing firm administer tests.
  • In addition to these measures, all of these steps are videotaped to further ensure the integrity of the process.
  • All draw equipment is securely maintained with limited access to draw officials only.

The entire process takes approximately three hours for a drawing that takes less than 60 seconds.

If your numbers match the 6 numbers drawn, you are a Mega Millions Lottery jackpot winner!

Mega Millions official website
Wikipedia page about Mega Millions