Mega Millions After Taxes: How Much Will the Winner Get?

The Mega Millions jackpot winner will take home much less than the advertised jackpot amount, thanks to taxes.

A neon sign in a window that says "lottery." for Mega Millions tax story
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Whoever wins the Mega Millions jackpot will still take home a good chunk of change, but they can say goodbye to at least 24% of their winnings right away. And they will have to pay the IRS even more later.  

Mega Millions jackpot numbers: Did anyone win the Mega Millions?

No one won the Mega Millions jackpot after the last drawing, but you might want to check your tickets anyway.

  • 22 tickets won the $10,000 prize.
  • 541 tickets won the $500 prize.

The winning numbers for the Feb. 23 drawing were: 4, 6, 40, 41, 60 and the Mega Ball was 11.

Subscribe to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Be a smarter, better informed investor.

Save up to 74%
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/hwgJ7osrMtUWhk5koeVme7-200-80.png

Sign up for Kiplinger’s Free E-Newsletters

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice on investing, taxes, retirement, personal finance and more - straight to your e-mail.

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice - straight to your e-mail.

Sign up

You can view the winning numbers on Mega Million's website

Mega Millions drawing days

The Mega Millions drawing is held every Tuesday and Friday at 11 PM (ET). The next drawing is Tuesday, Feb. 27.

Winning numbers will need to be verified after the drawing, so you might need to wait until the following morning to know if anyone wins the jackpot.

Mega Millions lottery jackpot payout

The Mega Millions payout changes after each drawing, and the lump sum payout is much less than the advertised jackpot amount. 

For example, the $563 million jackpot winners will share approximately $265.4 million if they choose the lump sum option, which most people do. The lump sum payout may drop further for some winners after paying their tax bill (more on that below).

Mega Millions payout after taxes

The 2024 federal tax brackets place the Mega Millions jackpot winnings at a 37% tax rate, whether the winner opts for the lump sum or not. That’s because the 37% rate applies to single taxpayers with incomes greater than $578,125 ($693,750 if married filing jointly). You can wait until tax time to pay a portion of that tax bill, but the IRS will take 24% right away.

If the jackpot winner lives in a state that doesn't tax lottery winnings, they won't have a state tax bill. But some winners may, depending on where they live.

  • For example, New York would tax the Mega Millions jackpot winner at 10.9%.
  • Pennsylvania would only tax the winner 3.07%. 

Can you avoid taxes on a Mega Millions payout?

Having a winning ticket from a state that won't tax your lottery winnings (including for example, California and Florida) will allow you to avoid state taxes on your Mega Millions or Powerball payout, but you can expect to pay your fair share of federal taxes. 

You’ll want to work with a qualified tax professional and a financial advisor to help you keep as much of your Mega Millions winnings as possible. Who knows? With the right strategy, you could grow your winnings into even more money.

How much is a Mega Millions ticket?

If you still want to purchase a Mega Millions ticket after learning how high your tax bill will be, you may still have time to do so before the next drawing. (Each state has its own cut-off time for Mega Millions ticket purchases.) Tickets cost $2 per game, and you can purchase as many tickets as you want.

In most states, you can add the Megaplier feature for an additional $1 per play. The Megaplier is drawn before each Mega Millions drawing and can multiply non-jackpot prizes up to five times the prize amount.

How to play Mega Millions 

There are six numbers in a Mega Millions drawing. Players may choose these numbers or opt for a Mega Millions Quick Pick (numbers are auto-generated). You must match all six of these numbers to win the jackpot. 

According to the official website, your odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot is only 1 in 302,575,350. But even one matching number can result in a small payout.

How many numbers do you need on the Mega Millions?

Six matching numbers will land you the jackpot. But the odds of walking away with the jackpot are pretty slim. However, according to the lottery, the odds of winning anything at all are 1 in 24. 

Here’s what you could win if your ticket matches some (but not all) of the numbers revealed during the Mega Millions drawing.

  • $1,000,000 for five matching numbers, not including the Mega Ball number (odds of winning are 1 in 12,607,306)
  • $10,000 for five matching numbers, including the Mega Ball number (odds of winning are 1 in 931,001)
  • $500 for four matching numbers, not including the Mega Ball number (odds of winning are 1 in 38,792)
  • $200 for four matching numbers, including the Mega Ball number (odds of winning are 1 in 14,547)
  • $10 for three matching numbers, not including the Mega Ball number (odds of winning are 1 in 606)
  • $10 for three matching numbers, including the Mega Ball number (odds of winning are 1 in 693)
  • $4 for two matching numbers, including the Mega Ball number (odds of winning are 1 in 89)
  • $2 for matching the Mega Ball only (odds of winning are 1 in 37)

Related Content

Katelyn Washington
Tax Writer

Katelyn has more than 6 years’ experience working in tax and finance. While she specializes in tax content, Katelyn has also written for digital publications on topics including insurance, retirement and financial planning and has had financial advice commissioned by national print publications. She believes that knowledge is the key to success and enjoys helping others reach their goals by providing content that educates and informs.