How to Claim Mega Millions Winnings
This page will tell you all you need to know about how to claim Mega Millions prizes. One of the most important rules to remember is that if you buy your tickets from a licensed retailer, you can only claim your winnings from the same state you bought your entry in. However, you do not have to be a resident of that state to be eligible for a Mega Millions prize – nor do you even need to be a U.S. citizen.
Take a look at the rules below to find out how to claim Mega Millions prizes in all the different participating states, as well as online.
What to do With a Winning Ticket
If you choose your Mega Millions numbers online, you’ll be automatically notified of any win вЂ“ and your winnings will be paid directly into your account.
If you play via a retailer, make sure to sign the back of your ticket. Whether you win the jackpot or a smaller prize, it will help to prove the ticket belongs to you in the event that you lose it or someone else attempts to claim your winnings. ItвЂ™s also a good idea to store any winning tickets in a safe place, until youвЂ™re ready to come forward and claim.
The method for claiming a prize can vary from state to state and will depend on how much you have won. The following is a general guide to how to claim prizes, but be sure to check the rules in your state before attempting to claim. You can find out more by selecting your state on the Participating States page.
If you win a prize of under $600, you should be able to claim your winnings from a licensed retailer in the state where you bought your ticket. Certain stores, though, may have a policy against paying out certain sizes of lottery prize, or may not carry enough cash to fulfil your request. In the event of a store not being able to pay out, you could take your ticket to another store, visit your local lottery office, or post your ticket to your state lottery in order to claim your winnings by mail.
If you do intend to mail your ticket to your state lottery office, you must send it out with a prize claim form and proof of identity вЂ“ subject to the rules set by your state lottery.
You can claim prizes of $600 and above from one of your state lotteryвЂ™s offices or claim centers. It may also be possible to claim your prize by mail, but you should check with your local office first.
If you win the Mega Millions jackpot, you will need to claim your prize in person from the headquarters of your state lottery. It is unlikely that you will be able to claim a jackpot by mail, as thorough validation checks will need to be completed before the prize money is paid out.
Time until draw:
Mega Millions Claims Period
Tickets remain valid for different lengths of time, depending on where the ticket was bought. The following table tells you how long you have to pick up your prize:
|New Mexico||90 days|
|New Hampshire||1 Year|
|New Jersey||1 Year|
|New Mexico||90 days|
|New York||1 Year|
|North Carolina||180 days|
|North Dakota||180 days|
|Rhode Island||1 Year|
|South Dakota||180 days|
|U.S. Virgin Islands||6 months|
|Washington State||180 days|
|Washington D.C.||180 days|
|West Virginia||180 days|
- *California players have one year to collect a jackpot prize, but only 180 days to claim a non-jackpot prize.
When you do come forward to claim your lottery winnings, you may have to disclose your identity to the public. Anonymity laws in your state may either allow you to remain anonymous or prevent you from concealing your identity.
Take a look at the table below to find out which states offer anonymity to Mega Millions players, and under what conditions:
|States That Allow Anonymity||Who Is Eligible for Anonymity|
|Arizona||Players who have won $100,000 or more|
|Georgia||Players who have won $250,000 or more|
|North Dakota||All players|
|South Carolina||All players|
|Virginia||Winners of $10 million or more|
|West Virginia||Winners of $1 million or more; must donate 5% of winnings to the State Lottery Fund to qualify|
Some states, though they do not allow outright player anonymity, may allow you to form a trust or LLC through which to collect your winnings. This can protect your identity, though to what extent depends on the laws in your state. Consult a legal advisor to find out if such an option is available to you.
If you are a Mega Millions winner find out the claims process for your state, includes how to claim prizes if you played online or in-store and details of ticket expiry dates.
How to Claim
Congratulations on winning a Mega Millions prize. If youвЂ™re wondering what to do next, this page will help to inform you on how to claim a prize, whether your ticket was purchased online or at a local retailer.
How to Claim a Prize Online
If you purchased your ticket online, you will be notified of your win via email and your winnings are paid directly into your player account.
How to Claim a Prize from an Authorized Retailer
If you purchased your ticket from a retailer, where you claim your winnings depends on the amount that you have won. For detailed information on where to claim your prize for each jurisdiction, visit the dedicated page.
$599 and Under
Prizes less than $600 can be claimed at an authorized retailer, district office or claim center.
$600 and over
Prizes of $600 or more must be claimed at a district office, claim center or lottery headquarters.
Mega Millions jackpot winners are encouraged to contact the lottery headquarters for their jurisdiction. Players can decide to take a one-off lump sum cash payment or accept an annuity (30 payments over 29 years).
Please note that the information may vary depending on the state in which you played. Please check with your state lottery before claiming. In addition, winning tickets can only be claimed in the state where they were purchased.
A Mega Millions prize must be claimed between 180 days and one year from the date of draw (varies by state). In the US, if a prize is not claimed, some unclaimed funds are returned to the lottery fund, whilst other funds are given back to the community, helping to benefit areas such as public education.
It is important to note that you cannot win a Mega Millions prize for a draw that you have not entered. If you have received correspondence notifying you that you have won a prize and have not entered a draw, you may be the victim of a scam. Visit the dedicated ‘Scams’ page to find out more.
Think youвЂ™re a winner? Double check at the Mega Millions Numbers page.
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Players must be 18 or over to participate in online lotteries.
Are you a Mega Millions winner? Find out how to claim a prize if youвЂ™ve won online or at a local retailer.