Mega Millions FAQ
Can I buy tickets online?
No. State law prevents the sale of Louisiana Lottery products through the Internet. Only licensed retailers are legally authorized to sell Louisiana Lottery tickets.
Can I claim a prize on a multidraw ticket before all the drawings have occurred?
Yes! The multidraw features on the Lottery's draw-style games allows players to purchase plays for multiple drawings, up to 14 for Pick 3 and Pick 4 and up to 20 for Powerball, Mega Millions, Lotto and Easy 5. If you win a prize during one of the drawings, you do not have to wait until the last drawing has occurred before collecting those winnings. When you cash a winning multidraw ticket with drawings still remaining, the Lottery's terminal system will print out an exchange ticket good for the balance of the remaining drawings and with the same numbers as on your original ticket. The retailer will retain the original ticket as it is no longer valid and give your exchange ticket with your winnings.
How long do you have to claim a prize?
Winning scratch-off tickets can be claimed up to 90 days following the closure of the game. A list of closed games and end-of-redemption dates can be found on this website. Winning draw-style game tickets can be claimed up to 180 days following the drawing in which the prize was won.
How long does a Powerball or Mega Millions jackpot winner have to decide whether to take the annuity or the cash option for the jackpot?
Winners have 60 days after the ticket is validated by the lottery to elect either the annuity or cash payment option.
If I play the Lottery with a group of people, how do we go about claiming a prize as a group?
The prize on a winning lottery ticket may be split among a group of ticket owners; however only one prize check is issued. The prize check is issued to either one person or legal entity (partnership, trust, etc.). Each member of the group provides a completed IRS Form W-9 for tax reporting purposes at the time of the claim. The person receiving the check for the group also provides picture identification and is responsible for distributing the winnings to the group members.
For a prize paid in a single payment, the check recipient may choose to complete a Federal Form 5754 that ensures the tax obligation of the prize is distributed among the group members according to the gross prize amount of each person’s share. The Federal Form 5754 allows the Lottery to send a separate W-2G tax form to each individual winner noting the amount won and withheld on their behalf.
The Powerball or Mega Millions jackpot prize may be paid in the annuity payment format or the single payment cash option. The group members must decide on one payment option; it is not possible for some group members to take the cash option and others to choose the annuity.
While it is not necessary for a group of people to form a legal entity to claim the cash option, the Lottery asks a group of winners to form a legal entity with an assigned tax identification number for a jackpot prize paid in annual installments. This simplifies the tax reporting and prize distribution for a group of people receiving payments over an extended time.
When claiming a prize as a legal entity, the legal document organizing the entity must list the name of each member of the group, their city of residence, and the portion of the prize each person will receive.
The Lottery encourages all players to seek financial advice before claiming a large jackpot prize.
As with all claims, the names of those receiving prize funds and their city of residence is public record.
If I think I've won the jackpot, what should I do?
Players should sign the back of their ticket for security purposes, secure their ticket and treat it as cash. We also recommend that players who believe they hold a Powerball, Mega Millions or Lotto jackpot-winning ticket contact the Lottery's headquarters immediately at 800-735-5825 to schedule a time to claim their prize and have their questions answered. This will facilitate a smooth prize payment process. Players who believe they hold a jackpot-winning ticket must bring the original ticket to the Lottery's corporate headquarters in Baton Rouge within 180 days of the drawing in which the prize was won for verification and any prize payment. The Lottery recommends that before coming to claim a jackpot prize, winners get financial advice so they fully understand the tax or other legal implications involved.
If I win, can I remain anonymous?
If you win more than $600 and are therefore required to claim your prize at a Lottery office, you will be required to complete a claim form for tax purposes. Under the Lottery's statue, all prize payment records are open records, meaning that the public has a right to request the information. Depending upon the amount won and public or media interest in the win, winners may NOT be able to remain anonymous. The statute also allows the Lottery to use winners' names and city of residence for publicity purposes such as news releases. The Lottery's regular practice is not to use winner information in paid advertising or product promotion without the winner's willingness to participate.
What happens to prize money when someone dies?
When a prize is claimed it becomes the property of that individual, even if the prize is paid out as an annuity. Hence, all winnings become a part of the estate of the deceased.
What states participate in Mega Millions?
Currently, 45 lotteries participate in Mega Millions, including Louisiana. The others are Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington D.C., West Virginia, Wisconsin and the Virgin Islands.
What television stations carry the drawing results?
The winning numbers or results of Powerball, Lotto, Pick 3 and Pick 4 drawings are broadcast beginning at 9:59 p.m on the following television stations. Mega Millions drawings are broadcast at 10:00 p.m. on the following TV stations, except for WVUE-FOX8 where it airs at the top of the first commercial break of the hour.
|Cox Cable||4 Rebroadcasts on channel 57 between 24 and 26 minutes after the hour and between 45 and 50 minutes after the hour.||Baton Rouge|
|WVUE/FOX 8||8 Mega Millions drawings air at the top of the first commercial break of the 10 p.m. newscast.||New Orleans|
|KPXJ/KTBS||21/3 Rebroadcasts on KTBS during second commercial break of the 10 p.m. newscast.||Shreveport|
When are the drawings results aired?
Lotto: Wednesday and Saturday nights at 9:59 p.m., except Christmas Day.
Easy 5: Wednesday and Saturday nights at 9:59 p.m., except Christmas Day.
Powerball: Wednesdays and Saturdays at 9:59 p.m.
Mega Millions: Tuesdays and Fridays at 10 p.m.
Pick 3 & Pick 4: Daily at 9:59 p.m., except Easter Sunday and Christmas Day. There are no Louisiana-based drawings on Christmas Day or Easter. Drawings for the multistate games, Powerball and Mega Millions, will be conducted should Christmas fall on a draw day. Tickets must be purchased by 9:00 p.m. on the draw date for Powerball and Mega Millions, and by 9:30 p.m. on the draw date for Pick 3, Pick 4, Lotto and Easy 5 to be eligible for that drawing.
When someone in the other Powerball or Mega Millions states wins the jackpot, does all the money from tickets purchased in Louisiana go to the winning state?
No. Each state participating in Powerball or Mega Millions contributes a percentage of their sales to fund the jackpot. As in all other games, the Louisiana Lottery Corporation transfers to the state treasury 35 percent of all sales of Powerball and Mega Millions tickets at Louisiana Lottery retailer outlets no matter where the top prize is won.