Mega Millions is the Illinois Lottery’s longest-running multi-state game, having been played in the state since its launch in 1996. It offers jackpots starting at $40 million and which frequently run into hundreds of millions of dollars. Learn more about how to play the game and the prizes that can be won, or go to the Numbers section to see the latest results straight after each draw has taken place.
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How to play Mega Millions
Mega Millions draws are held every Tuesday and Friday at 10:00pm CST. You can take part online or in stores, and you just need to select five main numbers from 1 to 70 and one Mega Ball between 1 and 25.
You can choose your own numbers or opt for a Quick Pick, where a random line will be generated on your behalf. It costs $2 per line to play Mega Millions, and for an extra $1 you can also add the Megaplier to your ticket. If you play Megaplier and win a non-jackpot prize, your winnings will be increased by two, three, four or five times the original value.
Follow the simple steps below to play Mega Millions online or at licensed retailers.
- Set up an online account with the Illinois Lottery.
- Choose how many lines you want to play, from 1 to 10.
- Select your numbers, or go for a Quick Pick.
- Add Megaplier to your ticket if you wish.
- Decide how many consecutive draws to enter, up to a maximum of 21.
- Add your selection to the cart.
- Wait for the draw. You will be notified if you win a prize.
Playing at a Retailer
- Go to any Illinois Lottery retailer.
- Choose your numbers on a playslip, or go for a Quick Pick.
- Decide whether to add Megaplier to your ticket.
- Select how many draws to enter, up to a maximum of 15.
- Check the winning numbers after the draw has taken place.
Prizes and Odds of Winning
There are nine ways to win Mega Millions prizes, based on how many numbers you match. To win the jackpot, which starts at $40 million, you must correctly predict all five main numbers and the Mega Ball. If no ticket wins the jackpot, it will roll over to the next draw and keep growing until someone matches all the numbers.
The other prizes are all fixed amounts and range from $2 for matching just the Mega Ball to $1 million for matching all five main numbers. The overall odds of winning a prize are 1 in 24. The following table shows the prizes you can win and the odds of winning in each category.
|5 + Mega Ball||1 in 302,575,350||Jackpot|
|5||1 in 12,607,306||$1 million|
|4 + Mega Ball||1 in 931,001||$10,000|
|4||1 in 38,792||$500|
|3 + Mega Ball||1 in 14,547||$200|
|3||1 in 606||$10|
|2 + Mega Ball||1 in 693||$10|
|1 + Mega Ball||1 in 89||$4|
|0 + Mega Ball||1 in 37||$2|
If you play the Megaplier and win a non-jackpot prize, it will be increased by between two and five times. A multiplier of 2x, 3x, 4x or 5x will be randomly selected before the Mega Millions draw commences, boosting the value of your prize by that amount if you have matched enough numbers.
The following table shows how your prize will increase if you win and play the Megaplier, depending on which multiplier is drawn. It also shows the odds of each Megaplier number being selected.
|Numbers Matched||2x (1 in 3)||3x (1 in 2.5)||4x (1 in 5)||5x (1 in 15)|
|5 + Mega Ball||Jackpot||Jackpot||Jackpot||Jackpot|
|5||$2 million||$3 million||$4 million||$5 million|
|4 + Mega Ball||$20,000||$30,000||$40,000||$50,000|
|3 + Mega Ball||$400||$600||$800||$1,000|
|2 + Mega Ball||$20||$30||$40||$50|
|1 + Mega Ball||$8||$12||$16||$20|
|0 + Mega Ball||$4||$6||$8||$10|
If you win a prize of up to $600, it will automatically get paid into your account if you played online, or you can visit any licensed lottery retailer if you bought your ticket in-store. For prizes over $600 but under $1 million, you should pick up a claim form from a retailer and mail it in to the following address:
P.O. Box 19080
You can also visit a local claim center to redeem your prize. You will need to take along the winning ticket, a valid photo ID, and your social security number.
For prizes of $1 million and more, you are advised to call the Illinois Lottery Claims Department on 217-524-5147 to make arrangements for collecting your prize in person.
Any prize of more than $5,000 will be subject to a federal tax of 24%, while 4.95% state tax is withheld on any award of $1,000 or more.
Big Mega Millions Winners in Illinois
Retired healthcare worker Patricia Busking became the biggest winner in Illinois lottery history when she landed the full $393 million Mega Millions jackpot on August 11th 2017. The lucky lady from Palos Heights said that she and her husband were looking forward to sharing the money with friends and family, as well as making charitable donations to causes that were close to their hearts. She chose the cash option of $246 million.
The previous record had belonged to Naperville man Jesus Davila Jr, who claimed $265 million after buying a Mega Millions ticket in Glendale Heights for the draw on January 16th 2015. Illinois also grabbed a share of the then-record $656 million jackpot in March 2012, when one of the three winning tickets was sold in the state. Merle and Patricia Butler from Red Bud, Illinois, claimed their $218.6 million slice of the prize a few weeks later.