US Mega Millions Rules

megamillions tickets

Lottery is on the rise as people clamor for easier ways to become millionaires overnight. Though many people look down on this method, it is still a legit way of getting some cash and if you are lucky enough, have your life changed by getting the right combinations.

Mega Millions is one of the platforms popular in the United States nowadays. This American multi-jurisdictional $1 game made its first draw back in 2002 and has given away billions of prizes since then.

Aside from holding the bragging rights of having the largest lottery pot amounting to $656 million, it is also the first in world lottery to give away more than half a billion worth of prize in just one draw. Its name speaks for itself because even its consolation prize is considered “mega” by world’s financial standards.

“Mega” amounts of prizes

The base amount that Mega Millions gives away for its jackpot is $12,000,000. It increases weekly when no gets the right combination for the top prize. Its jackpot prizes are given as yearly installments unless the winner chooses to get the lump sum amount in which case the final amount is reduced.

There were three winners having the same kind of combination for the $656 million prize. Since they opted to get cash instead of the annuity value, they only got $158,000,000 each. Aside from this amount that was given last March 2012, Mega Millions has also released $319 million for a single individual at the same month last year as well.


Like other modern lotteries, Mega Millions utilizes a double-system for drawing. Players need to pick 5 numbers out of the 56 white balls and 1 number for the Megaball from 46 options. Weekly draws occur at 10:59 pm Eastern Time every Tuesdays and Fridays at WSB-TV Atlanta, Georgia. Selling of tickets stops at 10:45 pm and resumes the next day.

One way to get more prizes is by choosing the Megaplier option. All jurisdictions except for California allows the amount of the non-jackpot prizes to double if you opt to pay $2 for your ticket instead of the original price of $1. This additional feature started in Kansas in 2011 and has been adopted by the other states as well.

The numbers that you choose can be selected personally or randomly by the computer through the “quick pick” option. One play slip can accommodate five sets of numbers. This play slip can be used for up to 26 drawings if you choose the “multidraw” option. In doing so, you do not have to go back to the retailer over and over again if you are just going to use the same set of numbers.

Once you have paid, you will get an exchange ticket which you will use for your reference. Make sure that you verify your options since you cannot have your ticket reprinted after it is generated.

Age restriction

The general rule is that anyone aged 18 can purchase the ticket. However, states like Arizona, Louisiana, and Iowa has set the age limit to 21 while Nebraska puts its minimum allowable age at 19. Minors can receive the prize if the winning ticket is given to them as a gift.

Claiming of prizes

The limit for the claiming of prizes can extend from 180 days to a year depending on the state where the ticket is bought. The limitation is lenient in states like California but not in some states.

Unlike other lotteries, Mega Millions winners can be exempted from state taxes unless the winning ticket was bought from California or Pennsylvania. However, winners are not to be exempted if what they got are to be considered as a taxable incomes by the state.

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