How to Play Mega Millions: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Play Mega Millions – Players may select six numbers from two separate pools of numbers – five different numbers from 1 to 70 (the white balls) and one number from 1 to 25 (the gold Mega Ball) – or choose Easy Pick/Quick Pick. You win the jackpot by matching all six winning numbers in a drawing.

Until additional notice, the starting jackpot will change based on sales, and will be notified before each drawing.

There are nine ways to win a prize in Mega Millions, ranging from the jackpot down to $2:

How to Play Mega Millions

Mega Millions of tickets price $2.00 per play.

Overall probabilities of winning any prize:

Here are some tips for playing Mega Millions:

  • Play more often. 
  • The more tickets you play, the better your probability of winning.
  • Choose your own numbers. If you select your own numbers, you are less likely to share your prize with someone else.
  • Use a quick pick. You can use a quick pick if you don’t have time to choose your own numbers. The lottery machine will choose the numbers for you.
  • Play with friends. You can increase your probability of winning by playing with friends. If you win, you can split the prize.

Good luck!

What if you win the jackpot?

Annuity option: The Mega Millions annuity is paid out as one quick payment followed by 29 annual payments. Each payment is 5% bigger than the previous one. This helps protect winners’ lifestyle and buying power in periods of inflation.

Check more information about the annuity option.

Cash option: A one-time, lump-sum payment equal to all the cash in the Mega Millions jackpot prize pool.

Just the Jackpot

In some states, a special offer called Just the Jackpot is available. Jackpot players will love this thrilling new wager type that allows them to play specifically for the jackpot only. At a price of $3, the player will obtain two plays for the jackpot only. Just the Jackpot tickets are not eligible for any other prize levels. To see if the lottery in your jurisdiction offers this option, go to that lottery’s website (you can find links on our “Where to Play Mega Millions” page).


Most states offer a Megaplier feature to increase non-jackpot prizes by 2, 3, 4, or 5 times; it costs an extra $1 per play. Before per Mega Millions drawing on Tuesday and Friday nights, the Megaplier is drawn. From a pool of 15 balls, 5 are marked with 2X, 6 with 3X, 3 with 4X and 1 with 5X. This mix results in the following odds for each of the Megaplier numbers and their associated prize values:



Mega Millions  Official Website

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