Congrats, You Won a Mega Millions Prize! This Is How Long Do You Have to Claim It, By State

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Did you recently find yourself a winner of a significant Mega Millions prize? Woo-hoo! Are you doing a happy dance? No? Well, get dancing, and picture us with you! If you won the grand prize, congratulations! You beat the one in 302 million odds.

And now that you’ve won, there are several things to think about when it comes to claiming your prize. One of the biggest questions you probably have? 

How long do you have to claim the Mega Millions prize?

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Timeline for Claiming Mega Millions Winnings

The answer to the question of how long you have to claim Mega Millions is this: It varies by state. That’s why it’s important to check drawing results promptly and be aware of the deadlines to claim your prize based on your location. 

Check out our handy list below to see your state’s Mega Millions claim time limit:

(RelatedHere Are the Luckiest Mega Millions Numbers in 2024)

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Arizona

Length of time to claim your prize after the drawing: 180 days

Image Credit: Gregory Clifford/Istockphoto.

Arkansas

Length of time to claim your prize after the drawing: 180 days

Image Credit: Lee Lawson/Istockphoto.

California

Length of time to claim your prize after the drawing: 180 days

Image Credit: WoodysPhotos/Istockphoto.

Colorado

Length of time to claim your prize after the drawing: 180 days

Image Credit: Getty.

Connecticut

Length of time to claim your prize after the drawing: 180 days

Image Credit: markara/Istockphoto.

Delaware

Length of time to claim your prize after the drawing: One year

Image Credit: ChrisBoswell / istockphoto.

District of Columbia

Length of time to claim your prize after the drawing: 180 days

Image Credit: LUNAMARINA/istockphoto.

Florida

Length of time to claim your prize after the drawing: 180 days

Image Credit: ablokhin/istockphoto.

Georgia

Length of time to claim your prize after the drawing: 180 days

Image Credit: Ralf Geithe/istockphoto.

Idaho

Length of time to claim your prize after the drawing: 180 days

Image Credit: photovs/istockphoto.

Illinois

Length of time to claim your prize after the drawing: One year

Image Credit: Steve King/istockphoto.

Indiana

Length of time to claim your prize after the drawing: 180 days

Image Credit: Roberto Galan/Istockphoto.

Iowa

Length of time to claim your prize after the drawing: 90 days

Image Credit: Ralf Geithe/istockphoto.

Kansas

Length of time to claim your prize after the drawing: One year

Image Credit: Jacob Boomsma/Istockphoto.

Kentucky

Length of time to claim your prize after the drawing: 180 days

Image Credit: Getty.

Louisiana

Length of time to claim your prize after the drawing: 180 days

Image Credit: TopMicrobialStock/Istockphoto.

Maine

Length of time to claim your prize after the drawing: One year

Image Credit: Ralf Geithe/istockphoto.

Maryland

Length of time to claim your prize after the drawing: 182 days

Image Credit: Kruck20/istockphoto.

Massachusetts

Length of time to claim your prize after the drawing: One year

Image Credit: SeanPavonePhoto / istockphoto.

Michigan

Length of time to claim your prize after the drawing: One year

Image Credit: ConstantinosZ/istockphoto.

Minnesota

Length of time to claim your prize after the drawing: One year

Image Credit: istockphoto/RudyBalasko.

Mississippi

Length of time to claim your prize after the drawing: 180 days

Image Credit: kellyvandellen/istockphoto.

Missouri

Length of time to claim your prize after the drawing: 180 days

Image Credit: LightFieldStudios/istockphoto.

Montana

Length of time to claim your prize after the drawing: Six months

Image Credit: LeventKonuk/istockphoto.

Nebraska

Length of time to claim your prize after the drawing: 180 days

Image Credit: f1monaco31/istockphoto.

New Hampshire

Length of time to claim your prize after the drawing: One year

Image Credit: johan10/Istockphoto.

New Jersey

Length of time to claim your prize after the drawing: One year

Image Credit: andykazie/istockphoto.

New Mexico

Length of time to claim your prize after the drawing: 90 days

Image Credit: gchapel/Istockphoto.

New York

Length of time to claim your prize after the drawing: One year

Image Credit: StockByM/istockphoto.

North Carolina

Length of time to claim your prize after the drawing: 180 days

Image Credit: J. Michael Jones/Istockphoto.

North Dakota

Length of time to claim your prize after the drawing: 180 days

Image Credit: Evgen_Prozhyrko/istockphoto.

Ohio

Length of time to claim your prize after the drawing: 180 days

Image Credit: Sean Pavone/istockphoto.

Oklahoma

Length of time to claim your prize after the drawing: 180 days

Image Credit: Tiago_Fernandez/Istockphoto.

Oregon

Length of time to claim your prize after the drawing: 60 days

Image Credit: ChrisBoswell / istockphoto.

Pennsylvania

Length of time to claim your prize after the drawing: One year

Image Credit: gsheldon/istockphoto.

Rhode Island

Length of time to claim your prize after the drawing: One year

Image Credit: Jason Heid/istockphoto.

South Carolina

Length of time to claim your prize after the drawing: 90 days

Image Credit: angiii/Istockphoto.

South Dakota

Length of time to claim your prize after the drawing: 180 days

Image Credit: Jacob Boomsma/ iStock.

Tennessee

Length of time to claim your prize after the drawing: 180 days

Image Credit: Sean Pavone/Istockphoto.

Texas

Length of time to claim your prize after the drawing: 180 days

Image Credit: Barbara Smyers / istockphoto.

Vermont

Length of time to claim your prize after the drawing: One year

Image Credit: SeanPavonePhoto/istockphoto.

Virginia

Length of time to claim your prize after the drawing: 180 days

Image Credit: wawritto/Istockphoto.

Virgin Islands

Length of time to claim your prize after the drawing: Six months

Image Credit: Nick Heinemann/istockphoto.

Washington

Length of time to claim your prize after the drawing: 180 days

Image Credit: gvictoria/Istockphoto.

West Virginia

Length of time to claim your prize after the drawing: 180 days

Image Credit: Sean Pavone/istockphoto.

Wisconsin

Length of time to claim your prize after the drawing: 180 days

Image Credit: csfotoimages/istockphoto.

Wyoming

Length of time to claim your prize after the drawing: 180 days

Image Credit: robertcicchetti/istockphoto.

What else you should know about your Mega Millions Prize

So you learned how to play the Mega Millions. Luck has shined down upon you, and the top prize is nearly yours. But there is one significant decision to make before you turn in your ticket:

Cash or Annuity?

If your prize is large enough, you will need to decide whether to take the estimated value of the prize all at once or split the payments up over time. 

With the annuity option, one payment is received immediately, and then the winner receives 29 additional annual payments until the entire prize has been paid out. This is a great way to spread payments over the lifetime of the winner.

The cash option provides an estimated value over the annuity option, and the entire prize is paid out at once. This is a highly popular option as people want their winnings as soon as possible and don’t necessarily want to wait for additional funds to be provided in the future. 

While you’re excited to claim your prize, you have time to get everything in order. Take the time to consult with professionals who can help you figure out the details.

(RelatedHow Powerball Works)

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You won! But, you live in a different state from where you got your lottery ticket. Now what?

If the state where you ordered your lottery ticket is different from your home state, you will need to return to the state where you ordered your ticket to claim your prize

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Where do I check the time limit to claim my prize for my state (or the state where I got my ticket)?

You can always find the length of time you have to claim your prize (in person or by mail) on the state’s lottery website for the state where you got your ticket. You can also contact the state lottery’s customer service line or visit a local lottery retailer for more details.

Image Credit: Kateryna Onyshchuk/istockphoto.

When will you get the prize after you’ve won the Mega Millions?

For many prizes, don’t expect to walk in the door of your local lottery commission and walk out with a check. Many lotteries take a few weeks to validate and process your ticket and will send a check to you. Depending on your state and the amount won, you can claim your winnings by mail, or you may need to visit a lottery location in person. See your state lottery website for more information. 

Image Credit: OlenaMykhaylova/istockphoto.

Can you keep your name out of it if you’ve won the Mega Millions?

Many people, especially really big winners, might want to claim their winnings anonymously. Whether or not you can depends on your state. Your state lottery website will have all the information about whether or not anonymity is available to you. If nothing else, you can set up a trust and claim the ticket in the name of the trust, which provides some semblance of privacy for claiming your winnings.

This article originally appeared on Jackpocket.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

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