For prizes under $599, players can take their winning Mega Millions lottery ticket to an authorized sales agent to have the ticket validated and immediately claim their prize. Winning tickets worth more than $600 take longer to receive, as these must be paid out by the state lottery commission.
In the case of a prize of over $600, the winner must go to an authorized sales agent to fill out a claim form, which is then sent along with the winning ticket to the state lottery commission for validation.
If a ticket wins the Mega Millions jackpot, the winner must follow the same procedure for submitting the claim form. In the case of the jackpot, the winner has two options for collecting his winnings. He can either choose to receive a lump sum payment or the annuity option, which is paid out over a total of 30 payments. In either case, the lump sum or first annuity payment is not sent until at least 15 days from the date of the winning drawing. This waiting period is due to the fact that the company that runs Mega Millions requires two weeks to receive wire transfers of the lottery funds from the 45 participating jurisdictions.
Mega Millions can be played in 44 U.S. states, plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.