Ultimate Mega Millions Guide | theLotter

The Ultimate Guide to Playing Mega Millions!

Breaking News: Mega Millions offers the biggest lottery jackpot in the world! Play Mega Millions for a chance to win an incredible $282 million jackpot prize! The upcoming draw is on Friday 28 July 2017. Don't miss it!

The Mega Millions lottery is the second major cross-state lottery in the US, after the Powerball. Mega Millions is famous especially for having paid out the second biggest jackpot in world lottery history: a whopping $656 million! This lottery jackpot record was set in 2012 and stayed at the #1 spot until January 2016, when US Powerball surpassed it with its $1.58 billion jackpot.

Read our Ultimate Mega Millions Guide and learn everything you've always wanted to know about Mega Millions!

mega millions megaplier ticket

US Mega Millions Game Rules & Prize Categories

To play in the US Mega Millions lottery, you must choose five main numbers from a range of 1 to 75 as well as one Mega Ball from a range of 1 to 15.

Draws take place on Tuesdays and Fridays.

The jackpot starts at $15 million and has no limit, which means it can rise to infinite heights.

The US Mega Millions lottery has 9 fantastic prize categories and you can win up to $5 million in the 2nd category using the Megaplier game option. The most recent changes in the rules of the game in the autumn of 2014 saw the minimum jackpot increased to $15 million and the prize fund of the 2nd category enlarged. Besides this, the jackpot now rises at a much faster pace – its minimum increase is $5 million per round. All in all, the changes guarantee that the famous lottery giant remains as popular as ever.

Prize Category Match Winning Odds




2nd Prize



3rd Prize



4th Prize



5th Prize



6th Prize



7th Prize



8th Prize



9th Prize



What is the Megaplier Play Option?

The Megaplier game option is a multiplier function which you can use to multiply your wins in the lower prize categories, i.e. excluding the Jackpot. The Megaplier number is drawn separately and is a number from 1 to 5. Depending on which number is drawn, non-jackpot prizes are doubled, tripled, quadrupled or quintupled. The Megaplier is an optional extra on Mega Millions lottery tickets and must be activated at the time of purchase. If, for instance, you select the Megaplier and win the second prize which is normally worth $1 million, and the drawn Megaplier number is 5, then you end up winning a massive $5 million instead! As other non-jackpot prizes are multiplied as well, it is definitely worth your while to activate the Megaplier game option when you purchase a Mega Millions ticket.

Mega Millions Jackpot: Once the World Record Holder

The highest Mega Millions jackpot to date laid claim to the World Record title for four years! The massive $656 million jackpot, which was paid out in 2012, created lots of buzz in the media for the pan-state Mega Millions lottery. The $656 million jackpot remained the world record until US Powerball's epic $1.58 billion jackpot, won in January 2016.

10 Biggest Mega Millions Jackpots of All Time

Rank Date Amount # of winners


March 30, 2012

$656 million



December 17, 2013

$648 million



July 8, 2016

$536 million



March 18, 2014

$414 million



March 6, 2007

$390 million



January 4, 2011

$380 million



August 28, 2009

$336 million



August 31, 2007

$330 million



November 4, 2014

$326 million



March 25, 2011

$319 million


Mega Millions Jackpots by Year

There was a jackpot winner in the first Mega Millions draw ever in 2002! The second Mega Millions jackpot was won just one week later! Listed below is a table showing the number of Mega Millions jackpots won in the lottery by year.

Year Jackpots Won Biggest Jackpot


3 so far

$191 million



$536 million



$265 million



$414 million



$648 million



$656 million



$380 million



$266 million



$336 million



$275 million



$390 million



$270 million



$315 million



$294 million



$183 million



$165 millions

Mega Millions States

mega millions megaplier ticket

Source: megamillions.com- the official Mega Millions website in the US

The US Mega Millions lottery is offered in 44 US states plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. When you order a Mega Millions ticket through theLotter, you will receive an official Mega Millions ticket which is scanned and available to you in your secure online account.

Mega Millions History

Mega Millions launched in August 1996 under the name Big Game and the first draw took place on 6 September 1996. At that time only six states participated in the draws. Within a matter of years, the lottery expanded enormously and it introduced an additional draw on Tuesdays in 1998. The range of numbers expanded and a cash payment option was introduced. In May 1999, New Jersey joined the initial founding states!

In May 2002 the lottery was rebranded under the Mega Millions banner and the states of New York and Ohio joined, increasing the pool to a total of 9 states. More exciting additions to the game format were added as well!

In January 2010, Mega Millions made an historic cross-selling agreement with Powerball, enabling players to play both lotteries simultaneously. As a result of the agreement, the number of states offering Mega Millions tickets rose to 43. In addition, tickets could from then onwards be bought in Washington D.C. and the Virgin Islands.

In March 2012 the Mega Millions lottery wrote history by awarding the second biggest jackpot prize in the history of lotteries. An incredible $656 million was won. The historic jackpot was won by three players from Kansas, Illinois and Maryland.

In October 2013 new lottery tickets were introduced to create even larger jackpots, better secondary prizes up to $5 million with the amazing Megaplier function, and better overall odds of winning.

mega millions timeline

Fascinating Facts about the Mega Millions

Did you know that the very first Mega Millions draw on 17 May 2002 produced a jackpot winner from the Windy City of Chicago, who won $27 million?

Mega Millions paid out eleven jackpots of more than $300 million so far, including the highest jackpot in history, worth $656 million.

A mere 68 draws after the lottery launched, Mega Millions reached the milestone of 1 billion tickets sold!

At the draw for the $648 million jackpot in 2013, there were 2 jackpot winners, but altogether 59 tickets matched five main numbers. These 59 ticketholders were lucky to win, but also unlucky in being just one number removed from the jackpot category!

By December 2013, Mega Millions had sold over 29 billion tickets since the launch of the game in 2002.

In a matter of three days in 2012, the Mega Millions jackpot rose to record levels, solely on the basis of high ticket sales! It went from $476 million to $500 million, then to $540 million, $640 million, and, finally it shot up to an unbelievable $656 million!

theLotter’s Mega Millions Hall of Fame

In 2009 there was a Mega Millons winner at theLotter from New York. T.K won a second prize of $250,000.

Another theLotter player, this time from Switzerland, won a second prize of $250K in 2011. The Swiss champion matched all five main numbers. He flew to New York, courtesy of theLotter, to personally collect his massive prize!

The third major Mega Millions winner at theLotter is from Spain. This player did not only win in the second prize category in 2012, but also managed to scoop up further prizes in both the fourth and fifth prize categories.

You can find more information about all our big winners on our dedicated page for theLotter online lottery winners, which is full of fun facts and anecdotes as well as winners’ stories.

Mega Millions Jackpot Pay-Outs

American lotteries such as the Mega Millions give winners the opportunity to have a jackpot prize paid out in cash or annuities.

You receive more when you opt to have the prize paid out in installments (“annuities”) than when you withdraw it in one go.

Mega Millions Prize Taxation

At the moment of writing this (last update: January 2017), theLotter purchases your Mega Millions tickets in the US states of New Jersey, New York, and Oregon. More locations may be added in the future. Any won prizes are taxed at source.

The New Jersey Lottery withholds 30% federal withholding tax from all prize amounts above $599.50 for non-residents. The New York Lottery withholds 44.17% (federal, state, and city) withholding tax from all prize amounts above $4999.50 for non-residents. The Oregon Lottery withholds 38% in taxes for winnings above $5,000 for non-Oregon residents.

You should always check the tax laws in your country of residence for any further local taxation you may be subject to. The most up-to-date information about taxes on Mega Millions prizes can be found on the Mega Millions information page.

Mega Millions Play Options on theLotter

At theLotter you can purchase official Mega Millions tickets with the option to activate the Megaplier play option.

You can pre-order tickets for coming draws, by selecting to purchase a Multi-Draw Package for 5, 10, 25 or 52 draws. This way you can save up to 25% off the regular cost of purchase.

You can get every tenth ticket free by choosing a Mega Millions Subscription at the time of purchase. Subscriptions to the Mega Millions keep running until you cancel them, so you’ll never have to miss out on another important draw! You can play with your Lucky Numbers or choose to play random numbers (“Lucky Dip” or “Quick Pick”).

Lottery Syndicates: Increase your Chance to Win US Mega Millions

According to the UK National Lottery, lottery syndicates win 1 in 5 top game prizes, and there are those who state that the percentage is even higher. theLotter is proud to offer a variety of odds-boosting Mega Millions Syndicates and indeed Syndicates for all major lotteries in the US and around the globe. Syndicates vary in size and shape. Some are exclusive communities with higher potential prizes, others are massive groups which allow you to play an unprecedented number of lines and thereby increase your chances to win, but any prize money is shared by more participants. You can check for the number of shares and lines when you select the Mega Millions Syndicates tab. In times of high jackpots, we usually offer Mega Syndicates with a massive 1000 lines, and thus 1000 chances to win!

US Mega Millions Bundles: a Winning Formula

An even more exciting way to play the Mega Millions lottery draws is by purchasing Bundles, which combine one-time Personal Entries with shares in lottery Syndicates. Bundles let you boost your odds, whilst still allowing you to participate in draws with your own Lucky Numbers, too. These packages offer the best of both worlds: massive individual wins and the odds-boosting power of group play! Stay tuned as we add more and more features to this winning formula in months to come.

Any Further Questions about Mega Millions?

We hope we have helped you understand all you needed to know about the amazing Mega Millions lottery in this Ultimate Guide to Mega Millions online.

If you have any further questions, please get in touch with our Customer Service team, which is at your service around the clock via web chat, phone and email!

We wish you loads of luck and masses of fun in playing the Mega Millions online!

Keep Playing it Global at theLotter!