Mega Millions Winners, Prizes and How to Play (2024)

Mega Millions is an exciting multi-state lottery played every Tuesday and Friday evening across 45 states, plus the District of Columbia and U.S. Virgin Islands jurisdictions. Discover all aspects of the game including the latest Mega Millions winning numbers, prizes, payouts, how to play, the biggest jackpot winners, history of the game, and more.

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Current Mega Millions Jackpot

Mega Millions

Mega Millions Winners, Prizes and How to Play (1)

Next Estimated Jackpot:

$181 Million

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How to Play Mega Millions

Here's how to get started playing Mega Millions in four easy steps:

  1. Choose five main numbers between 1 and 70
  2. Choose a Mega Ball number between 1 and 25
  3. Choose whether to play the Megaplier for an additional $1
  4. Purchase tickets before the cut-off time (this varies by state; check with the state lottery for ticket purchase cut-off times)

A video explaining how to play MegaMillions.

Once you have your Mega Millions tickets, simply wait for the drawing, which is held every Tuesday and Friday in Atlanta, Georgia at 11pm ET. Check the Winning Numbers page soon afterwards to find out if you are due a prize.

What is the Megaplier?

For an additional $1, players can opt-in to play the Megaplier, which can significantly increase the value of the non-jackpot prizes.

On the night of each Mega Millions draw, a Megaplier number from 2 to 5 will also be drawn. Any non-jackpot prizes that participating players win will then be multiplied by this Megaplier number. The option to play the Megaplier is offered by all states that participate in the Mega Millions lottery, with the exception of California.

See how potential winnings can grow with Megaplier prize multiplier examples.

Just the Jackpot

Ticket holders also have the option to play Just the Jackpot. Players pay $3 for two lines, which would normally cost $4, but they can only win the jackpot. There is no prize for matching anything less than five main numbers and the Mega Ball. This feature is not currently available in New Hampshire.

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Mega Millions has nine different prize tiers, ranging from $2 all the way up to the jackpot, which is always guaranteed to be $20 million or more. There is also no cap or rollover limit, meaning prizes can easily run into the hundreds of millions of dollars.

The prize tiers break down as follows in the majority of states:

Prize Tier Odds of Winning Prize Amount
Match 5 + Mega Ball 1 in 302,575,350Jackpot
Match 5 1 in 12,607,306$1,000,000
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 odds of winning a Mega Millions prize are 1 in 24

The only exception to this is the state of California, which calculates prizes on a pari-mutuel basis, meaning that payouts are determined by the number of tickets sold and the number of winning tickets.

Megaplier Prize Multiplier Examples

If you chose to play the Megaplier, any non-jackpot prize you win is multiplied by the Megaplier number that is drawn.

See below for some examples of how potential prizes can grow with a Megaplier:

Numbers Matched 2x Megaplier 3x Megaplier 4x Megaplier 5x Megaplier
Match 5 $2,000,000 $3,000,000 $4,000,000 $5,000,000
Match 4 + Mega Ball $20,000 $30,000 $40,000 $50,000
Match 4 $1,000 $1,500 $2,000 $2,500
Match 3 + Mega Ball $400 $600 $800 $1,000
Match 3 $20 $30 $40 $50
Match 2 + Mega Ball $20 $30 $40 $50
Match 1 + Mega Ball $8 $12 $16 $20
Match 0 + Mega Ball $4 $6 $8 $10

The odds of each Megaplier being drawn are as follows:

Megaplier Odds of being drawn
2x 1 in 3
3x 1 in 2.5
4x 1 in 5
5x 1 in 15

How to Claim a Mega Millions Prize

So you've matched all (or some) of the numbers selected and you've landed an awesome Mega Millions prize. What do you do now?

Prizes of up to $600 can generally be collected at retailers in the state in which the Mega Millions ticket was bought. If you win a larger prize, notify the relevant State Lottery, who will take you through the next steps. Online players will be notified of wins by email, and will be guided through the process of collecting prizes.

If you've won the jackpot, then you can choose a lump sum payment or an annuity. If you choose the annuity, you will receive one immediate payment and 29 annual payments after that. Each payment will be five percent larger than the last one in order to match the cost of living over time. If you choose the cash payment, you will receive a one-time payment equivalent to the cash in the jackpot prize pool.

Any winnings you receive from Mega Millions will be subject to federal income taxes, as well as any applicable state income taxes. Several of the participating states – Wyoming, Washington, Texas, South Dakota, and Florida – don't levy income taxes on their residents. Tennessee and New Hampshire only impose tax on income from dividends and interest.

If you've just matched all the numbers and are already looking at yachts and mansions, then it might be a good idea to do some math and see how much you have actually won, as the advertised jackpot does not account for state and federal taxes.

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Mega Millions Winners

Ever since Mega Millions rebranded in 2010, there have been some incredible jackpots won by players from across the U.S. Below are the top 10 Mega Millions winners of all time.

If you want to be in with a chance of winning a multi-million dollar jackpot, pick your numbers for the next Mega Millions draw at the Tickets page.

Amount Cash or Annuity?DateWinner Details
$1.602 billion Took the cash option of $794.2 million August 8th 2023After having rolled over 31 times, a single ticket won the largest Mega Millions jackpot in the history of the game. It is also the third-largest jackpot ever offered by US lotteries. The winning ticket was sold in Florida at a Publix in Neptune Beach and it was claimed by Saltines Holdings, LLC who took the cash option of $794.2 million.
$1.537 billion Took the cash option of $877.7 million October 23rd 2018After 25 consecutive rollovers, this prize was won by one player from South Carolina, making it both the biggest Mega Millions jackpot ever offered and the biggest lottery jackpot ever won by a single ticket holder anywhere in the world. The player did not come forward until March 2019 and opted to stay anonymous.
$1.348 billion Took the cash option of $723.5 million January 13th 2023After three months of rolling, the third-largest Mega Millions jackpot was finally won on Friday January 13th by a single ticket holder in Maine. They claimed the money through the LaKoma Island Investments LLC, having purchased their entry from Hometown Gas & Grill in the town of Lebanon.
$1.337 billion Took the cash option of $780.5 million July 29th 2022One of the biggest jackpots to have been seen on any lottery in the world was finally won by a player from Illinois, who bought their ticket at a Speedway gas station in Des Plaines, just north of Chicago. The grand prize had been building since mid-April – a sequence of 29 consecutive drawings. It was later confirmed that the jackpot was claimed by a duo, who had an agreement to split the money if they won.
$1.13 billion TBC March 26th 2024The jackpot powered past $1 billion again in the spring of 2024, before it was snapped up by a single ticket holder from New Jersey. It was the Garden State’s 25th – and biggest – Mega Millions jackpot win. The draw also created 13 other millionaires.
$1.05 billion Chose the cash option of $776 million January 22nd 2021This winning ticket, purchased at a Kroger store in the Detroit suburb of Novi in Michigan, belonged to a four-member lottery club from Oakland County known as the Wolverine FLL Club. It was the biggest win ever seen in Michigan and was not claimed for two months. The winners said they planned to stay humble and help generations to come, as well as support local charities.
$656 million The Illinois and Maryland winners chose annuity payments totalling $218.6 million, the Kansas winner took a $157 million cash lump sum. March 30th 2012Three winning tickets shared a top prize worth a whopping $656 million on March 30th 2012. The prize was split between Merle and Patricia Butler of Red Bud, Illinois, "the Three Amigos" – a group of three education workers in Maryland – and an anonymous ticket holder from Kansas.
$648 million Took the cash option of $347.6 millionDecember 17th 2013Two winners, Georgia grandmother Ira Curry and California delivery driver Steve Tran, shared this impressive $648 million jackpot prize.
$552 million $260.2 million June 4th 2024 After rolling over for approximately three months, an online player from Illinois matched all the winning numbers. The lucky winner, nicknamed 'MEGA Millionaire', claimed the prize in less than one week from the winning draw. She shared that she was in shock and disbelief once she realized how much she won. This is the 15th time when the first prize goes to the Prairie State.
$543 million Not publicizedJuly 24th 2018A new record was set for the largest jackpot claimed by a single ticket when a pool of 11 office workers from Santa Clara County in California decided ‘on the spur of the moment’ to spend $2 each on tickets. The lucky winners later insisted they had no plans to give up work just yet.

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Game History

Mega Millions is one of the biggest lotteries in the United States, with jackpots often running into the hundreds of millions of dollars. Read on to find out where Mega Millions started, and how it has turned into one of the most exciting lotteries in the world.

Choose your Mega Millions numbers here to be in with a chance of becoming the next winner.

  • Mega Millions has its roots in a lottery called The Big Game, which held its first drawing on September 6th, 1996, and which drew national attention after a record $363 million jackpot
  • Tickets were originally sold only in Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan and Virginia
  • Ohio and New York joined the group in May 2002, and the name of the lottery was changed to The Big Game Mega Millions
  • Sales for the game began on May 15, 2002, and the first drawing was on May 17, 2002
  • The state of Washington first participated in Mega Millions in September 2002 and was closely followed by Texas in December 2003
  • California joined in June 2005, becoming the 12th member of the interstate lottery
  • The "Big Game" was eventually dropped from the title and the lottery game began to be referred to as Mega Millions
  • Another 23 state lotteries joined Mega Millions on January 31st, 2010, thanks to a cross-selling agreement with Powerball. Since then, other lotteries have joined the fun, including Montana, Nebraska, Oregon, Arizona, Colorado, Maine, South Dakota and Wyoming
  • In October 2017, a number of changes were introduced to the game, including the matrix in the main game decreasing from 75 to 70 and the Mega Ball pool increasing from 15 to 25
  • A new minimum jackpot of $40 million was also introduced, replacing the existing base figure of $15 million. These alterations were designed to increase the rate at which the top prize grew, offering ticket holders the chance to play for bigger and more exciting prizes
  • Mississippi became the 47th jurisdiction to participate in Mega Millions when tickets went on sale on January 30th 2020.
  • The biggest ever Mega Millions jackpot was won on August 8th 2023, when a single ticket from Florida won $1.602 billion.

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