Skip to Content

Where do you watch the drawing for Mega Millions?

The Mega Millions lottery drawing is one of the biggest multi-state lottery games in the United States. With jackpots starting at $40 million and often climbing to over $1 billion, it’s no wonder that people eagerly await the biweekly drawings to see if they have the winning numbers. But where exactly do these drawings take place and how can you watch them?

Where Mega Millions Drawings Are Held

The Mega Millions drawings are held at the WSB-TV studios in Atlanta, Georgia. WSB-TV is an ABC affiliated television station owned by The Cox Media Group. The drawings are held in Studio F at their studios located at 1601 West Peachtree Street NE in Atlanta.

Studio F is a compact studio specifically built for lottery drawings. It houses all the equipment necessary to select the winning numbers and balls in a secure and regulated manner. The studio layout allows cameras to capture the entire process from all the necessary angles.

In each Mega Millions drawing, five white balls numbered 1 to 70 and one gold Mega Ball numbered 1 to 25 are drawn from two secure ball drawing machines. The drawing machines contain balls corresponding to all the possible numbers. The machines randomly select five white balls and the Mega Ball to generate the winning numbers.

The Mega Millions drawings are held at 11 pm Eastern Time every Tuesday and Friday. The drawings are monitored by government officials to ensure fairness and are conducted with oversight from an external auditor.

Who conducts the Mega Millions drawings?

The Mega Millions drawings are conducted by the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL). MUSL is a non-profit government benefit association owned and operated by 36 member state lotteries. It coordinates several multi-jurisdictional lottery games in the United States, including Mega Millions, Powerball, and others.

MUSL appoints drawing officials who are trained to operate the drawing equipment and conduct the scheduled drawings. The drawing officials are sworn officers of the state and follow strict drawing procedures set by state lottery regulations and MUSL. They are screened for any potential conflicts of interest before being appointed.

Some key personnel involved in Mega Millions drawings include:

  • Draw Manager – Oversees the entire drawing process and drawing officials.
  • Draw Inspector – Examines drawing equipment and validates testing procedures before drawings.
  • Machine Managers – Operates and maintains the drawing machines.
  • Ball Inspectors – Inspects and logs the numbered balls before being loaded into machines.
  • Studio Coordinator – Manages the studio during live broadcasts.

In every drawing, the Draw Manager and Draw Inspector work together to ensure all procedures are properly followed throughout the process. The drawings involve selecting balls from two separate drawing machines containing the white balls and the Mega Ball.

Where can you watch the Mega Millions drawing live?

There are a few ways to watch the Mega Millions drawing live as it happens:

  • Television – The drawing is televised and broadcasted live on several major television stations across participating Mega Millions states.
  • Official lottery websites – Many state lottery websites live stream the drawing online. You can check the lottery website for your particular state.
  • Mega Millions YouTube channel – The Mega Millions YouTube channel provides a live stream of the drawing at 10:59 PM ET every Tuesday and Friday. The winning numbers are posted shortly after.
  • Mobile app – Some state lottery apps also provide live streams of the drawing. Check if your state lottery has an official app with this feature.

The Tuesday and Friday night drawings are a widely viewed event across participating states. Many eager lottery players tune in to find out if they have the lucky numbers for that massive jackpot prize.

What happens during the live broadcast?

The live Mega Millions drawing show starts at 10:59 PM ET and lasts around 5-10 minutes. It begins with an intro identifying it as an official Mega Millions drawing. The brief show follows a set protocol:

  1. Introduction of the Draw Manager and Draw Inspector overseeing the proceedings.
  2. Inspection and testing of the drawing machines by officials.
  3. Loading and displaying of ball sets into the drawing machines.
  4. Brief explanation of drawing procedures.
  5. Drawing of 5 white balls by the first machine.
  6. Drawing of the Mega Ball (last ball) by the second machine.
  7. Announcement of the winning number combination.
  8. Conclusion of the live drawing until next time.

Throughout the process, camera angles switch between a stage view of officials operating the machines and close ups inside machines as balls are being mixed and selected. The Draw Manager provides periodic updates on the steps being taken by the officials.

Where to find Mega Millions winning numbers

There are many convenient ways to find out the latest Mega Millions winning numbers after a drawing:

  • Official lottery websites – State lottery websites display the numbers immediately after the drawing.
  • Mobile apps – Lottery apps send alerts with the winning numbers right after the drawing.
  • Live broadcast – Remain tuned into the broadcast to hear the numbers announced live on television or YouTube.
  • News outlets – Many news sites post the results shortly after.
  • Retailers – Winning numbers are displayed at authorized lottery retailers.

The quickest way is checking official sources like state lottery websites or downloading their mobile apps. However, many third-party sources also provide the winning numbers as a public service soon after the balls are drawn.

Understanding Mega Millions Drawing Procedures

Mega Millions drawings follow stringent rules and protocols to ensure fair outcomes and randomness of results. State lotteries require Mega Millions drawings to adhere to the following general procedures:

  • Drawing machines are tested thoroughly prior to each drawing under supervision.
  • A minimum set of balls are placed in the machines – 59 white balls and 24 Mega Balls.
  • Balls are loaded by independent auditors right before drawings.
  • Machines randomly select each winning number one at a time.
  • Drawings are monitored by security cameras and officials.
  • Draw results are certified by independent auditors after each drawing.

Testing of the machines before each drawing is a key part of ensuring proper working and randomness. The Draw Inspector and Draw Manager run through a detailed checklist prior to giving the go ahead for a drawing.

Some key tests include:

  • Weighing sets of balls to ensure consistency in mass.
  • Measuring ball dimensions to ensure conformity.
  • Testing release mechanisms.
  • Checking for any signs of tampering.
  • Mixing and drawing test sets of balls to verify machines are functioning as intended.

Both drawing machines are essentially elaborate ball mixers combined with mechanized gates to release each ball. The mixing drums continuously tumble the balls randomly before gates open to let one out into the selection chamber.

The balls settle into assigned positions visible through display windows on the machines. Cameras film the entire process in detail as balls are selected one by one until the winning line is completed.

History of Mega Millions Drawing Locations

Since Mega Millions began in 2002, the drawings have been held at the following locations over the years:

Drawing Location Years
KUSA-TV, Denver, CO 2002–2007
WGN-TV, Chicago, IL 2008–2010
WSB-TV, Atlanta, GA 2010–Present

Mega Millions was introduced by MUSL and initially televised by KUSA-TV in Denver for ticket sales beginning in 2002. In 2008, drawings shifted to WGN-TV studios in Chicago when ticket availability expanded outside the initial multi-state agreement.

The drawings moved once again in 2010 to their current home at WSB-TV in Atlanta, Georgia. The WSB studios offered state-of-the-art facilities and television broadcasting experience for conducting the live Mega Millions drawings.

Georgia became one of the member states when Mega Millions expanded across most of the country between 2010-2011. As Mega Millions went nationwide, Atlanta provided a centralized drawing venue in a participating lottery state.

Notable Mega Millions Jackpots

Over the years, Mega Millions has awarded some massive jackpot prizes to lucky winners:

Jackpot Amount Date Won Winning Numbers
$1.537 billion October 23, 2018 5, 28, 62, 65, 70 MB: 5
$970 million January 22, 2021 10, 19, 26, 28, 50 MB: 16
$656 million March 30, 2012 2, 4, 23, 38, 46 MB: 23
$648 million December 17, 2013 8, 14, 17, 20, 39 MB: 7
$543 million July 24, 2018 1, 2, 4, 19, 29 MB: 21

The current record Mega Millions jackpot of $1.537 billion was won on October 23, 2018. It was claimed by a single ticket holder from South Carolina who chose the cash option of a $877.8 million lump sum payment. This stands as the largest lottery payout to a single winner in US history.

The second biggest Mega Millions jackpot so far was the $970 million prize hit on January 22, 2021. It was claimed by a four member lottery pool in Michigan who worked in the same school district.

Those massive jackpots all rolled over multiple times before finally being won. All the drawings during those run ups were widely watched events as the prizes hit astronomical levels.

Changes to Mega Millions Over the Years

Mega Millions has gone through some format and rule changes over its 20 year existence. Some major changes include:

  • 2010 – Field expanded to 75 numbers and prize tiers changed.
  • 2013 – Starting jackpots raised to a $15 million minimum.
  • 2012-2017 – Megaplier add-on feature introduced.
  • 2017 – Matrix changed to 5/70 + 1/25 and Megaplier can multiply to 5X.
  • 2022 – Third $2 Million prize tier added.

These changes altered the game mechanics and prize structures at various points. The lottery periodically evaluates potential changes to keep the game interesting for players.

Differences Between Mega Millions and Powerball

Mega Millions and Powerball are the two biggest multi-state lottery games in the US. They share some similarities but have the following key differences:

Feature Mega Millions Powerball
Pool Size 75 white balls 69 white balls
Mega/Power Ball Pool 25 Mega Balls 26 Powerballs
Matrix 5/70 + 1/25 5/69 + 1/26
Odds of Jackpot 1 in 302,575,350 1 in 292,201,338
Minimum Jackpot $20 million* $40 million
Maximum Jackpot No limit $150 million**

*Rollover minimum is $15 million but goes to $20 million if there is no winner.
**Rolls to next prize tier if exceeds cap of $150 million.

While the games have their differences, they ultimately offer similarly giant jackpot prizes. Playing either game provides the exciting opportunity to win hundreds of millions every drawing!


Mega Millions drawings offer the chance for life-changing riches every Tuesday and Friday night. The drawings rotate through several studios over the years but now call Atlanta, Georgia home. Officials operate with transparency under strict protocols to randomly select the next set of numbers. Anyone can watch the event live as the winning numbers are revealed. Mega Millions consistently produces massive jackpot prizes, sometimes even surpassing $1 billion. Players across most of the United States eagerly check the latest results after each drawing with hopes of hitting it big!