Mega Millions

Mega Millions is a US multi-jurisdictional $1 lottery game. Since it replaced The Big Game in May 2002 (see below), Mega Millions’ advertised jackpots have started at $12 million, paid in 26 yearly installments (unless the cash option is chosen), increasing when there is no jackpot winner.

Reflecting common practice among American lotteries, the jackpot is advertised as a nominal value of annual installments. A cash value option, when chosen by a jackpot winner (see below), pays the approximate present value of the installments. Mega Millions currently uses a 1/56 (white balls) + 1/46 (the Mega Ball) double matrix to select its winning numbers. Each game costs $1; in 43 of the 44 Mega Millions jurisdictions (California is the exception), there is an option, called Megaplier (such games are $2 each) where non-jackpot prizes are multiplied by 2, 3, or 4. The Megaplier was made available to all Mega Millions jurisdictions in January 2011; it began as a Texas-only option. Mega Millions is drawn at 10:59 p.m. Eastern time Tuesdays and Fridays, including holidays. Mega Millions is administered by a consortium of its original lotteries and the drawings usually are held in Atlanta, Georgia.supervised by the Georgia Lottery.

The largest advertised estimated jackpot in Mega Millions, and in American and world lottery history, is $656 million annuitized ($474 million in immediate payout) for the March 30, 2012 drawing.

How to play:

Step 1: Find

Find a MEGA Millions retailer close to home, work or your favorite coffee shop. With more than 20,000 California Lottery retail locations, a place to play is never too far away.

Find the closest retailer »

Step 2: Pick

Pick five lucky numbers from 1 to 56 and one MEGA number from 1 to 46 on a MEGA Millions playslip.

Or, play randomly generated numbers with Quick Pick®.

One playslip can hold up to five plays using your lucky numbers and you may play as many playslips as you like.

To play the same numbers for consecutive draws, just mark Advance Play®.

Quick Pick

Use Quick Pick for a fast play. You can select Quick Pick for your first five numbers, the one MEGA number or all six numbers and the computer will randomly generate numbers for you.

With Quick Pick you can purchase up to ten plays on a single playslip.

Advance Play

Advance Play allows you to play multiple draws with one purchase.

You can play 2 to 8, 16, or 20 consecutive draws on one playslip by marking the Advance Play box.

Note: Make sure to mark your numbers with either blue or black ink. And if you make a mistake, don’t erase. Just mark the VOID box.

Step 3: Buy

Give your playslip to the store clerk along with $1 for each play to receive a MEGA Millions ticket, which is your receipt.

Your ticket displays your numbers for each play, the draw date and the dollar amount paid.

Please check the accuracy of your numbers carefully and sign the back of your ticket. MEGA Millions tickets can’t be cancelled – all sales are final.

Learn about other ways to buy a ticket »

Step 4: Imagine

Millions of dollars are won every year by Californians just like you. And a ticket, plus a little luck, is all you need to go from Lottery player to Lottery winner. So start making your millionaire wish list and imagine what a buck could do. Today might just be your lucky day.

See winner stories »

Step 5: Check

To see if you’ve won, find winning numbers here on the website, and watch a recording of the draw. Or, scan the barcode on your ticket at a Lottery retailer.

MEGA Millions draws occur every Tuesday and Friday right after draw entry closes at 7:45p.m. PT.

Learn how to claim a prize »


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