Mega Millions is a multi-state lottery with draws every Tuesday and Friday night. It created the biggest-ever win in Illinois Lottery history, when a ticket worth $1.3 billion was sold in Des Plaines in 2022.
Find out everything you need to know about playing Mega Millions in Illinois, including how to play, how the Megaplier works, and all the prizes you can win.
How to Play
To play Mega Millions, you need to select five numbers from 1 to 70 and a Mega Ball from 1 to 25. Unlike other states, the Illinois Lottery allows players to take part in Mega Millions online as well as in retail stores.
When you play online, you can take part from home at a time that suits you. Your numbers are kept secure, so there’s no chance of them getting lost or stolen. Here’s how to play IL Mega Millions online.
Choose five numbers between 1 and 70, plus a Mega Ball from a separate set of 1 to 25. Alternatively, select the Quick Pick option to get a random set.
If you select the option to add the Megaplier to your ticket, it means that any prize you win (apart from the jackpot) would be multiplied by at least 2x, potentially as much as 10x.
Select how many consecutive draws you want to play, up to a maximum of 25. If you choose the subscription option available online, you can enter your favorite numbers into every draw for up to 12 months.
Add your selections to the cart, review them and then confirm your purchase. You can then just wait for the draw, although you don’t even need to check the results yourself as you will be notified automatically if you win.
Playing in a Retail Store
There are more than 7,000 Illinois Lottery retailers in the state. Visit your local store to play Mega Millions. Here’s a guide for what to do:
Select your own numbers or get a Quick Pick. You can fill out a playslip or just speak to the retailer.
Mark the Megaplier option or tell the store clerk if you want it included. The cost is an extra $1 per game.
If you want to enter more than one draw, mark the relevant option on your playslip and speak to the retailer.
Pay for your Mega Millions ticket and keep it safe until the drawing.
The drawing time for Mega Millions is 10:00 PM CT on Tuesdays and Fridays, and you need to get your tickets in by 9:45 PM CT. You can also play Mega Millions in Illinois without being a resident of the state, or play in most other parts of the country if you are traveling. However, you should remember that all prizes have to be claimed in the same jurisdiction where a winning ticket is purchased.
How to Win
To win a Mega Millions prize, the numbers you select must match the winning numbers that are drawn. You only need to get the Mega Ball to guarantee a win, and matching more numbers will land you a bigger payout. To win the jackpot, you must match all five main numbers and the Mega Ball.
Prizes and Odds
The jackpot starts at $20 million and keeps rising until it is won. It has even topped $1 billion a few times in the past, most notably for Illinois Lottery fans when a partnership from the Prairie State won a 10-figure sum in July 2022. Head over to the Winners page to find out more.
The rest of the prizes are fixed amounts, ranging from $2 for matching the Mega Ball on its own to $1 million for matching five numbers. The following table shows all the different ways to win and the odds for each prize level.
|Numbers Matched||Prize||Odds of Winning|
|5 + Mega Ball||Jackpot||1 in 302,575,350|
|5||$1 million||1 in 12,607,306|
|4 + Mega Ball||$10,000||1 in 931,001|
|4||$500||1 in 38,792|
|3 + Mega Ball||$200||1 in 14,547|
|3||$10||1 in 606|
|2 + Mega Ball||$10||1 in 693|
|1 + Mega Ball||$4||1 in 89|
|Mega Ball only||$2||1 in 37|
|The overall odds of winning a Mega Millions prize are 1 in 24|
The Megaplier is an optional $1 add-on which gives you the chance to increase any prize, apart from the jackpot, by up to five times its original value. A Megaplier number - 2x, 3x, 4x or 5x - is randomly selected from a pool of 15 balls before the main Mega Millions draw. If you win a prize, it will be multiplied by the value of the Megaplier number. The table below shows the prizes you can win if you play the Megaplier.
|Numbers Matched||Megaplier not played||2x||3x||4x||5x|
|5 + Mega Ball||Jackpot||Jackpot||Jackpot||Jackpot||Jackpot|
|5||$1 million||$2 million||$3 million||$4 million||$5 million|
|4 + Mega Ball||$10,000||$20,000||$30,000||$40,000||$50,000|
|3 + Mega Ball||$100||$200||$300||$400||$500|
|2 + Mega Ball||$10||$20||$30||$40||$50|
|1 + Mega Ball||$4||$8||$12||$16||$20|
|Mega Ball only||$2||$4||$6||$8||$10|
If you win a Mega Millions prize, you have one year from the draw date to come forward and claim your prize. However, if you are lucky enough to win the jackpot, you will need to collect your money within 60 days if you wish to take the cash option. If you do not meet this deadline, it will automatically default to the annuity. The $1.3 billion winners from Des Plaines in 2022 only just claimed in time to take the cash option.