Mega Millions is a popular lottery game known for its massive jackpots. In this blog, we will focus on a crucial aspect—guiding you on how and where to claim your winnings if and when you strike it lucky. Stay tuned to learn everything you need to know about claiming your Mega Millions prize!
Mega Millions Prize Tiers
The Mega Millions prize structure is simple. Depending on how many correct numbers you match, you can win one or more prizes based on the amount of tickets you purchased. You need to pick five numbers between 1 and 70 and two numbers between 1 and 25.
Here’s an easy breakdown of winning combinations and their payouts:
|Matching Numbers||Your Odds of Winning||Prizes|
|5 Numbers + Mega Ball||1:302,575,350||Jackpot Prize (varied)|
|5 Matching Numbers||1:12,607,306||$1 Million|
|4 Numbers + Mega Ball||1:931,001||$10,000|
|4 Matching Numbers||1:38,792||$500|
|3 Numbers + Mega Ball||1:14,547||$200|
|3 Matching Numbers||1:606||$10|
|2 Numbers + Mega Ball||1:693||$10|
|1 Number + Mega Ball||1:89||$4|
|Only the Mega Ball Number||1:37||$2|
How to Claim Your Mega Millions Prize
Here are 4 general steps on how to claim your prize if you’ve managed to match any of the above combinations.
Step #1: Claim Ownership of Your Ticket
The first action you should take after winning is to ensure the safety of your winning ticket. You can do this by signing the ticket and keeping it in a secure location. If you’ve won a large prize, be sure to keep the ticket on you at all times so as not to lose it.
Step #2: Choose a Payment Option
It’s now time to decide how you want your winnings to be paid out. You can choose the entire lump sum, or monthly installments.
In some cases monthly installments are a wiser option because you pay less tax on your winnings and ensure financial security for the long term. But if you choose to have the lump sum paid in one go (and have the financial discipline), you can add that money to an investment account and let it earn interest over time.
Step #3: Find the Nearest Lottery Claim Center
The state in which you bought your ticket is the same state in which you need to claim your prize. For small wins (usually amounts under $600) you can simply claim your prize from the retail store where you bought your ticket.
Larger amounts need to be claimed from lottery centers across the country, so be sure to find the one closest to you within your state.
Players who played their tickets online will usually have their winnings paid directly to their bank accounts or account wallets. But very large wins may require documentation and proof of identity in order to claim.
Step #4: Precautions for Big Winners
If you have won a large sum, remember to avoid any complications from family, friends, or even strangers. Keep your win a secret from everyone but a select few that you trust, and don’t broadcast your win wherever you go. It’s also wise to stay away from media interviews for the time being.
How and Where to Claim Your Mega Millions Prize
Claiming Your Winnings in the US
Each state has different requirements for claiming large prizes. You can call your state’s lottery headquarters and ask them about the up-to-date policies on the following:
- What sum minimum/maximum you can claim from each respective lottery claims center
- Where you can find the closest center to you
- What documentation you need to claim large winnings
- How long you have to claim your prize
Here’s a simplified summary to help you determine your next steps, as applies at the time of publishing (known addresses of lottery offices are included):
|State||Payout Guidelines||Office Address|
||Arkansas Scholarship Lottery Claim Center, 1st Floor, Union Plaza Building, 124 West Capitol Ave. Little Rock, AR 72201|
||Rocky Hill Headquarters: 777 Brook St, Rocky Hill, CT 06067|
||Delaware Lottery Office: 1575 McKee Road, Suite 102 Dover, DE 19904|
||Lottery Headquarters: 250 Marriott Drive, Tallahassee, FL 32301|
||Headquarters: 250 Williams Street, Suite 3000, Atlanta, GA 30303|
||Lottery Headquarters: 1199 Shoreline Lane, Suite 100, Boise, ID 83702|
||Illinois Lottery Claims Department: Department of Revenue, Willard Ice Building, 101 West Jefferson Street Springfield, IL 62702|
||Lottery Headquarters: Downtown Indianapolis, 1302 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN 46202|
||Lottery Headquarters: 13001 University Ave, Clive IA|
||Lottery Headquarters: 128 N Kansas Avenue Topeka, KS 66603|
||Lottery Headquarters: 555 Laurel St. Baton Rouge, LA 70801|
||Lottery Headquarters: 10 Water St, Hallowell, ME 04347|
||Maryland Lottery Headquarters: Montgomery Park Business Center, 1800 Washington Boulevard, Suite 330, Baltimore, MD 21230|
||Lottery Headquarters: 60 Columbian Street, Braintree, MA 02184|
||Lottery Headquarters: 101 E. Hillsdale in Lansing|
||Lottery Headquarters: 2645 Long Lake Road, Roseville, MN 55113|
||Lottery Headquarters: Mississippi Lottery Corporation, 1080 River Oaks Drive, Bldg. B-100, Flowood, MS 39232|
||Lottery Headquarters: 1823 Southridge Drive, Jefferson City, MO|
||Lottery Headquarters: 525 North Montana Avenue, Helena|
||Lottery Office: 137 NW 17th Street, Lincoln|
||Lottery Headquarters: 14 Integra Drive, Concord, NH 03301|
||Lottery Headquarters: Lawrence Park Complex, 1333 Brunswick Avenue Circle, Trenton, NJ 08648|
||Lottery Headquarters: 4511 Osuna Rd. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109|
||Lottery Headquarters: 2728 Capital Blvd, Suite 144 Raleigh, NC 27604|
||Lottery Office: 1050 E Interstate Ave, Suite 200, Bismarck, ND|
||Lottery Headquarters: 3817 N. Santa Fe, Suite 175, 73118|
||Oregon Lottery: 500 Airport Rd SE, Salem, OR 97301|
||Lottery Headquarters: 1200 Fulling Mill Road, Suite 1, Middletown, PA 17057|
||Lottery Headquarters: Angel Ramos Foundation Building Suite 110, 383 Ave. Roosevelt, Hato Rey|
||Lottery Headquarters: 1425 Pontiac Ave., Cranston, Rhode Island 02920|
||Columbia Claims Center: 1309 Assembly Street, Columbia, SC 29201|
||Lottery Headquarters: 711 E. Wells Ave, Pierre, SD 57501|
||Lottery Headquarters: One Century Place, 26 Century Blvd., Nashville, 37214|
||Texas Lottery Commission: 611 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78701|
|U.S. Virgin Islands||
||St. Thomas: 75 Corner, 5800 Krondprindsens Gade|
||Lottery Headquarters: 1311 US Route 302, Berlin, VT|
||Lottery Headquarters: 600 E. Main Street, Richmond, VA 23219|
||Lottery Headquarters: 814 4th Avenue East Olympia, WA 98506|
||Office of Lottery and Charitable Games Prize Center: Lobby Level, 2235 Shannon Place, S.E. Washington, D. C. 20020|
||Lottery Headquarters: 900 Pennsylvania Ave, Charleston, WV 25302
Regional office: 100 Municipal Plaza, Suite 500, Weirton, WV 26062
||Lottery Headquarters: 1620 Central Avenue, Suite 100, Cheyenne, WY|
Claiming Your Winnings Internationally
Since this popular lottery appears on many online lottery sites, you can play via theLotter and other reputable platforms. In the event that you win after using these services, the relevant platform’s policies will determine your payout procedure.
Usually the following applies:
- Small amounts appear in your wallet automatically.
- Larger amounts may need bank detail verification.
- When using lottery agents that purchase tickets on your behalf, you may need to travel to the US to claim large prizes or a jackpot in person.
When to Claim Your Prize After Winning
In the same way as guidelines that apply to claiming procedures, each state has an expiry period for tickets, measured from the date of the draw until the time you claim your prize. For example, in New Mexico you have only 90 days to claim a prize of up to $100,000; while in Michigan you have an entire year to claim any prize size.
If you want to make a claim by mail, first check with your state’s lottery organizers whether the size of your prize is applicable to this type of claim.
Here’s a full breakdown to help you plan your prize claim timeline:
|California||Jackpot: 1 year
Other prizes: 180 days
|New Hampshire||1 Year|
|New Jersey||1 Year|
|New Mexico||90 Days|
|New York||1 Year|
|North Carolina||180 Days|
|North Dakota||180 Days|
|Puerto Rico||180 Days|
|Rhode Island||1 Year|
|South Carolina||180 Days|
|South Dakota||180 Days|
|U.S. Virgin Islands||6 Months|
|Washington State||180 Days|
|Washington D.C.||180 Days|
|West Virginia||180 Days|
It’s always smart to call your state lottery office and ask them the state requirements for your jurisdiction is a good idea. Chances are you’ll want to claim your prize as soon as possible, but if you’re not in the state to do so, it’s good to know how much time you have.
Tax Laws Regarding Mega Millions Winnings
The tax laws governing Mega Millions winnings differ depending on where you reside and the exact amount you win. In the United States for instance, Mega Millions prizes are subject to federal income tax, and most states impose their own taxes as well.
Upon winning, a portion of your prize money is usually withheld by the lottery agency to fulfill federal tax obligations. It is crucial to seek guidance from a qualified tax professional or financial advisor who can provide insight into the specific tax laws and responsibilities relevant to your circumstances.
Now you know everything there is to know about claiming your Mega Millions prize. If you still have other questions, scroll down to our FAQ section for more information.
Where can I play Mega Millions?
Thanks to multiple online lottery sites and agents, you can now play the Mega Millions lottery anywhere in the world. If you are a non-citizen playing from a state within the US, note that you may need to provide documentation before you can claim a large prize.
Can I claim my Mega Millions prize in any state?
You must claim your prize from the same state in which you bought and played your ticket. This is only if you bought a physical ticket though. If you played online, then it’s much easier to claim remotely.
Can a group of players claim a prize?
There have been many instances where a group of players win a large prize and opt to split it evenly between themselves. This is fine, as long as you check with your state regarding the rules of such a split claim.
What documentation do I need to claim?
The following documentation is usually required when claiming a large prize:
- Winning Ticket: The original physical ticket or a valid electronic ticket is required to claim your prize.
- Identification: A government-issued identification document such as a driver's license, passport, or state ID is essential to verify your identity and age. Make sure your identification is current and valid.
- Claim Form: You will need to fill out a claim form provided by the lottery agency. This form includes your personal information, contact details, and the specifics of your winning ticket.
- Social Security Number (or Tax Identification Number): In the United States, you will typically be required to provide your Social Security number or Tax Identification Number for tax reporting purposes.
- Additional Documents: Depending on the amount of your winnings, you may need to provide additional documentation, such as a bank account number for direct deposit or a trust document if you plan to claim the prize through a trust.
Where and when can I view the Mega Millions draw?
You can either view a draw online through megamillions.com, or watch the Mega Millions draw results on television where it is broadcast live on Tuesdays and Fridays at 9:59pm.