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What is the cut off time to buy Mega Millions ticket in Texas?

The Mega Millions lottery is one of the biggest multi-state lotteries in the United States. It is drawn on Tuesdays and Fridays at 11:00 pm ET. Mega Millions tickets can be purchased in 45 states, including Texas, as well as Washington D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The cut off time to buy Mega Millions tickets varies by state. Here is a look at the Mega Millions sales cut off times specifically for Texas.

Mega Millions Ticket Sales Cut Off Time in Texas

In Texas, the cut off time to buy Mega Millions tickets for any given drawing is 10:45 pm CT on the night of the drawing. Retailers stop selling Mega Millions tickets at 10:45 pm CT. If you want to buy a ticket for that night’s drawing, you need to purchase it before 10:45 pm CT.

The 10:45 pm CT cut off time applies to buying Mega Millions tickets both in person at Texas lottery retailers as well as online. Online lottery ticket sales through the Texas Lottery website also stop at 10:45 pm CT on the night of the Mega Millions drawing.

Why Mega Millions Sales Cut Off Before the Drawing

Mega Millions ticket sales cut off about 15 minutes before the actual drawing so that all ticket purchases can be properly processed and validated before the winning numbers are selected. The short time between the sales cut off and drawing gives the lottery sufficient time to finalize all ticket sales and prepare for the drawing.

Having a buffer between the end of ticket sales and drawing ensures all last-minute Mega Millions ticket purchases are received and the sales data is transmitted to lottery officials before the balls are drawn. This helps guarantee that every ticket sold is eligible to win a prize in that night’s drawing.

Can You Buy Tickets After the Cut Off Time?

Purchasing Mega Millions tickets after the 10:45 pm CT cut off time in Texas is not possible. Retailer terminals will not allow Mega Millions sales after the deadline. If you attempt to buy a ticket after 10:45 pm, the lottery terminal will deny the sale.

The Texas Lottery’s official position is any Mega Millions tickets sold after the 10:45 pm CT deadline on the night of a drawing are invalid and ineligible to win prizes. Even if a retailer accidentally sells a ticket after the deadline, it would be void and could not claim a prize.

When to Buy Tickets for Future Drawings

While you cannot buy Mega Millions tickets past the 10:45 pm CT cut off for that day’s drawing, you can purchase tickets for future drawings. Mega Millions tickets can be purchased in advance for up to 11 consecutive future draws.

For example, on a Tuesday you could buy Mega Millions tickets for that Tuesday night’s drawing and then also buy tickets for the next 5 Friday night drawings and the next 5 Tuesday drawings. Advance purchase allows you to buy tickets for draws happening over the next 4-5 weeks.

Advance ticket purchasing can be done either online or at Texas Lottery retailers. Simply request to buy Mega Millions tickets for future drawings and specify the number of drawings you want to play.

One strategy is to buy Mega Millions tickets for 2, 3, or even 4 consecutive drawings. It saves you time from having to go back to the store before every single drawing.

Dates Mega Millions Tickets Can Be Purchased

Mega Millions tickets go on sale at 6:00 am CT two days before the drawing for online sales and before the retailer opens the day before the drawing for in-person sales. Here are the key dates:

Drawing Date Online Sales Start In-Person Sales Start
Tuesday Sunday at 6:00 am CT Monday when retailer opens
Friday Wednesday at 6:00 am CT Thursday when retailer opens

As the table shows, you can purchase Mega Millions tickets for a Tuesday drawing starting at 6:00 am CT on Sunday. For a Friday drawing, advance sales kickoff at 6:00 am CT on Wednesday.

Purchasing Official Mega Millions Tickets in Texas

There are a few ways you can buy official Mega Millions tickets in Texas:

  • At licensed Texas Lottery retailers – Over 18,500 retailers sell Mega Millions tickets in person
  • Online at – Can play using the website or mobile app
  • By phone – Call 800-375-6886 to purchase
  • Subscription service – Purchase 4, 6, 13, or 26 consecutive draws

The Texas Lottery permits charitable organizations to sell Mega Millions tickets as a fundraiser. These are valid tickets sold at approved events in the state. This offers another way to purchase official Mega Millions tickets.

Always be sure to buy Mega Millions tickets from an authorized Texas Lottery retailer or directly from the Texas Lottery itself. Avoid buying from unauthorized resellers or on the secondary market, as those tickets may be fraudulent.

Playing Mega Millions Legally

Some key rules related to playing Mega Millions legally in Texas include:

  • Must be 18 or older to purchase tickets
  • Cannot purchase tickets by mail, telephone, or internet from outside Texas
  • Tickets can only be purchased from a licensed Texas retailer
  • You must be physically located within Texas state lines when purchasing online

Playing Mega Millions illegally through unapproved channels or organizations risks having an invalid ticket that cannot be redeemed for prizes. Always buy directly from the Texas Lottery or its licensed retailers.

How Mega Millions Drawings Work

Mega Millions drawings are held at 11:00 pm ET every Tuesday and Friday. The drawings take place at the WSB-TV studios in Atlanta, Georgia under tight security.

The drawing process follows strict procedures and is conducted under the supervision of lottery officials and independent auditors. It involves drawing 5 white balls and the Mega Ball from separate machines containing a mix of numbered balls.

Here is an overview of how the Mega Millions drawing works:

  1. Prior to the drawing, officials confirm the machines are functioning properly and loaded with the correct number of balls.
  2. Two drawing machines are used – one with 70 white balls numbered 1-70 and the other with 25 yellow Mega Balls numbered 1-25.
  3. For the white balls, each of the 5 winning numbers is drawn one at a time. The balls are mixed by blowing air and then a ball is sucked into a tube and lifted into a chute.
  4. For the Mega Ball, 1 of the 25 balls is selected in the same manner after the 5 white balls are drawn.
  5. The Mega Millions numbers are announced in the order the white balls were drawn, followed by the Mega Ball.
  6. The drawing machines and balls are kept secure until the next drawing occurs.

The lottery has procedures in place to deal with any issues that may arise during the drawing, such as mechanical problems or balls becoming stuck. Extensive testing is done before and after the drawings to confirm proper operation and results.

How Winning Numbers are Verified

Steps taken by Texas lottery officials to verify Mega Millions winning numbers include:

  • An auditor witnesses all drawings and reviews results
  • Video recordings of the drawing are reviewed
  • The weights and measurements of the balls are inspected
  • Digital results are compared to a paper printout from the drawing machines
  • Drawings can be reenacted using the same machines and balls if any issues arise

These security procedures ensure the accuracy of the Mega Millions drawing and give the public confidence the official results are correct.

Checking Mega Millions Results in Texas

Texas players can check Mega Millions results in a variety of ways. Here are some options for finding the latest winning numbers and jackpot information after a drawing:

  • Texas Lottery website – View results online at
  • Mobile app – Download the Texas Lottery App for iOS or Android
  • Retailers – Results are displayed at licensed Texas retailers
  • Customer Service – Call 800-375-6886 to speak to Texas Lottery customer support
  • Email alerts – Sign up to receive winning numbers via email
  • Local news – Television, radio, newspapers report Mega Millions drawing results

The Texas Lottery posts the Mega Millions winning numbers online and publicly announces results shortly after each drawing. Players can check these official sources to find out if their tickets matched the numbers.

Understanding Mega Millions Results

When checking Mega Millions results, players will see:

  • Winning 5 white balls – The first 5 numbers between 1 and 70
  • Winning Mega Ball – The final 1 to 25 numbered yellow ball
  • Megaplier number – This multiplier increases non-jackpot prizes won
  • Next estimated jackpot – The anticipated amount if no winner

The white balls are drawn in random order and players can match the winning numbers in any sequence. The Mega Ball must match exactly. Players also have the option to add Megaplier for $1 extra per ticket to increase secondary prize payouts.

Understand Your Winning Tickets

When you check the results, compare the winning numbers to your Mega Millions ticket. Look at how many of the white balls you matched as well as if you matched the Mega Ball. The more numbers matched, the bigger the prize won.

Mega Millions prizes and approximate odds of winning are:

Match Prize Odds
5 white balls + Mega Ball Jackpot 1 in 302,575,350
5 white balls $1 million 1 in 12,607,306
4 white balls + Mega Ball $10,000 1 in 931,001
4 white balls $500 1 in 38,792
3 white balls + Mega Ball $200 1 in 14,547
3 white balls $10 1 in 606
2 white balls + Mega Ball $10 1 in 693
1 white ball + Mega Ball $4 1 in 89
Mega Ball only $2 1 in 37

The jackpot is won by matching all 5 white balls and the Mega Ball. Second prizes of $1 million are awarded for getting just the 5 white balls correct. Lower tier prizes are won for matching 3 or 4 balls plus the Mega Ball. Even matching just the Mega Ball wins a $2 prize.

Claiming Mega Millions Prizes in Texas

Mega Millions winners have 180 days from the date of the drawing to claim prizes in Texas. Here are the steps to take:

  1. Sign the back of the winning ticket – This helps prove ownership of the ticket
  2. Fill out a claim form – Forms are on the Texas Lottery website and at retailers
  3. Provide valid ID – A Texas drivers license or ID card is required
  4. Submit the signed ticket and claim form at any Texas Lottery claim center or by mail
  5. If claimed by mail, make a copy of the front and back of the ticket for your records

The claim centers review winning tickets, verify validity, and process payouts. Jackpot prizes can be paid in a 30-year annuity or as a one-time, lump-sum payment. Other Mega Millions prizes are paid out in a single payment.

Taxes on Winnings in Texas

Texas does not impose any state income taxes on Mega Millions winnings. However, the federal government taxes lottery prizes above $5,000 at the highest marginal tax rate of 37%.

For large jackpots, the federal government immediately withholds 24% for federal taxes. However, the winner is responsible for paying any additional taxes owed when they file returns. Consulting a tax professional is advisable for big winners.

All Mega Millions winners in Texas fill out a W-2G form report winnings to the IRS. If other states where tickets were purchased have income tax, those state returns must also be filed.

Things to Know About Mega Millions

Here are some additional facts about playing Mega Millions in Texas good to know:

  • Mega Millions tickets cost $2 per play
  • Players select 5 different main numbers 1-70 and 1 Mega Ball number 1-25
  • Players can use Quick Pick for randomly generated numbers
  • Tickets can be purchased up to 11 draws (22 days) in advance
  • Sales cut off at 10:45 pm CT on night of the drawing
  • Players can add Megaplier option to multiply non-jackpot prizes
  • Minimum Mega Millions jackpot starts at $20 million
  • Jackpots roll over and increase if no winner
  • Mega Millions drawings held Tuesdays and Fridays at 11:00 pm ET

Following these rules carefully is important when playing Mega Millions in Texas. Being aware of the ticket prices, sales cut offs, and drawing schedule allows you to properly play.

Changes to Mega Millions

Mega Millions has made some changes over the years that affect game play and prizes:

  • October 2017 – Megaplier option introduced
  • October 2017 – Starting jackpot raised to $40 million
  • October 2017 -Odds adjusted to be harder to win jackpot
  • January 2020 – Starting jackpot raised to $20 million

These changes decreased the overall chances of winning but raised the jackpot amounts. Megaplier provided a way to increase secondary prize winnings for players.


In Texas, Mega Millions ticket sales stop at 10:45 pm CT on the night of the drawing. Players need to buy tickets before this deadline for the drawing held at 11:00 pm ET. Tickets can be purchased online, through mobile apps, at retailers, or by phone subscription.

Mega Millions drawings are held Tuesdays and Fridays. Players have 180 days to claim prizes in Texas and winnings are exempt from state taxes. With jackpots starting at $20 million and frequently reaching hundreds of millions, Mega Millions is a popular multi-state lottery game enjoyed by millions of players across the country.