Rules Around States and Numbers

By now, you’ve heard the news that the Mega Millions jackpot has reached the astronomical total of $1.25 billion. Before you spend time scheming about just how you’d spend that money, you need to know how to play! And the countdown is on: The next drawing is on Friday, August 4. If you haven’t gotten your tickets yet, now is the time.

What states sell Mega Millions tickets?

First, you need to find out if your state sells Mega Millions tickets. Forty-five states, plus Washington, D.C., sell the lottery tickets at gas stations, convenience stores, and kiosks (some even sell them online!). Here are the states that do not sell Mega Millions tickets: Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada, and Utah. If you live in one of these states, you might need to start calling in favors from your out-of-state friends.

Then you pick your numbers! According to the Mega Millions website, lottery players can choose their own numbers or have them randomly generated. For Mega Millions, there are six numbers: Five numbers between 1 and 70, and then one Mega Ball number, which is between 1 and 25. To win the jackpot, you must get all six numbers correct.


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How do you buy Mega Millions tickets?

Tickets cost $2.00 each. In some states, there’s an optional Megaplier. It costs an extra $1 per ticket, and could increase the jackpot by 2, 3, 4, or 5 times. The method of payment allowed depends on the state. Some states allow credit card purchases, others allow debit cards, and all allow cash. Check your local state lottery rules to be sure, but when in doubt, pay cash.

How many numbers do you need to win a prize in Mega Millions?

If you don’t hit the big one (that’s all five numbers, plus the Mega Ball), don’t fret! There are plenty of winners aside from the jackpot. If you get all five numbers but not the Mega Ball, you’ll still get $1 million. If you just get the Mega Ball number, you’ll get $2, which is getting your money back.

How do you know if you’ve won the Mega Millions?

Winning numbers are drawn on Tuesday and Friday nights at 11 p.m. Eastern. Find out if you won by checking the winning numbers on the Mega Millions website, or watch your local news. If you do win, you’ll have a big decision to make: Taking the cash option or the annuity. The annuity is paid over 30 years, and the cash option is one lump sum, but it will be less than the jackpot total. For the current drawing, the cash option is $625 million.


Katie Bowlby is Digital Director at Country Living, where she covers gift guides, product reviews, crafts, and TV shows like Yellowstone. She’s currently stitching up a cross-stitch pattern for the magazine’s next issue 

This article was originally posted here.

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