Many people start thinking about buying a Mega Millions ticket the night of the drawing. You might not remember how big the jackpot is until later, and suddenly you get that rushed panicky feeling: “Is there still time?!” Just how close can you push picking up a ticket before it’s too late? The drawing takes place at 11:00 pm Eastern (10 p.m. Central) on Tuesdays and Fridays, and all it takes is $2 to get a chance at millions. Of course, your actual chance at winning those millions is pretty slim, but for many people it’s a chance that’s well worth taking. Tonight’s Mega Millions is worth an estimated $377 million, making it the ninth-largest jackpot in the history of Mega Millions.
But how long do you really have to buy a Mega Millions ticket and still get a shot at that jackpot? How late can you wait to buy one? Many states will shut down Mega Millions ticket sales 15 minutes before the drawing, but other states will stop sales an hour before. You should contact your local retailer to find out the exact cut-off time in your state. Here are some cut-off time examples:
Alabama: Mega Millions is not played here.
Alaska: Mega Millions is not sold here.
Arizona: Cut-off time is 6:59 p.m. local time for all draw games (7:59 p.m. after daylight savings time.) Sales for the next drawing will resume at 7:04 and 8:04 p.m. respectively. Find a retailer here.
Arkansas: Draw sales end at 9:45 p.m. Central Tuesday and Friday.
California: Drawings close at 7:45 p.m. Pacific.
Colorado: No ticket sales Tuesday and Friday between 7:30 and 7:33 p.m., Monday and Wednesday and Thursday between midnight and 4:30 a.m., and Sunday between midnight and 8 a.m.
Connecticut: On draw night, ticket sales close at 10:45 p.m. and reopen at 11:15 p.m.
Delaware: Tickets on sale up to 9:45 p.m. on drawing days.
Florida: Sales end at 10 p.m. on drawing days, to allow adequate time for all 46 member lotteries to transmit their data.
Georgia: Closing time not clear. Contact your retailer for details.
Hawaii: Mega Millions is not sold here.
Idaho: Drawing time is 9 p.m. MT on Tuesdays and Fridays. Exact closing time unclear. Call retailer for details.
Illinois: The Mega Millions cut off time isn’t completely clear. But if Illinois follows the same pattern it does for Powerball, then the cutoff time would be one hour before the drawing in retail stores and three hours online. Call your retailer for details.
Indiana: Sales on drawing dates cut off at 10:44 p.m. Eastern.
Iowa: Cut off time is 8:59 p.m. on draw days.
Kansas: Players have until 8:59 p.m. on draw days to get tickets.
Kentucky: The exact cut-off time isn’t clear. Call you retailer for details.
Louisiana: Purchase your ticket by 9 p.m.
Maine: Cut-off time is 9:50 p.m. Eastern on the day of the drawing.
Maryland: Cut-off time is 15 minutes prior to the drawing.
Massachusetts: Cut-off time is 10:45 p.m.
Michigan: Cut-off time is 10:45 p.m the day of the drawing in retail stores and online.
Minnesota: Cut-off time is 9 p.m. on the day of the drawing.
Mississippi: Mega Millions is not played here.
Missouri: No ticket sales are made Tuesdays and Fridays between 8:59 p.m. and 10 p.m, and daily between 2 and 5 a.m.
Montana: Drawings close at 8 p.m. local time, an hour before the drawing.
Nebraska: The exact cut-off time is unclear. Call your retailer for details.
Nevada: Mega Millions is not played in this state.
New Hampshire: Cut-off time is 9:50 p.m.
New Jersey: Cut-off time is 10:45 p.m. Eastern.
New Mexico: Cut-off is 8:45 p.m. Mountain Time on draw days, and sales resume at 8:55 p.m.
New York: Ticket sales stop at 10:45 p.m. on draw nights, and 3:30 a.m. other days.
North Carolina: Draw times end at 10:45 p.m on the day of the drawing.
North Dakota: You must purchase your ticket before 8:58 p.m. Central on the day of the drawing.
Ohio: Cut-off time is 10:45 p.m. on draw days.
Oklahoma: Purchase tickets until 8:59 p.m. Central on the evening of the drawing.
Oregon: Cut-off time is Tuesdays and Fridays between 7-8:15 p.m. PST.
Pennsylvania: Cut-off time is 9:59 p.m. local time the day of a drawing.
Rhode Island: Cut-off time is 9:50 p.m. on drawing nights.
South Carolina: Ticket sales stop at 10 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays.
South Dakota: Buy tickets until 9 p.m. Central/8 p.m. MT on the nights of the drawings.
Tennessee: Draw breaks begin at 9:45 p.m. Central (10:45 p.m. Eastern.)
Texas: Ticket sales not available during a draw break from 9:45-10:15 p.m. Central, and drawings are broadcast at 10:12 p.m.
Utah: Mega Millions is not played here.
Vermont: Cut-off time is 9:50 p.m.
Virginia: Tickets stop selling at 10:45 p.m. on draw nights.
Washington: Ticket sales cut-off Tuesdays and Fridays at 7:45 p.m. and resume at 8:01 p.m.
Washington D.C.: Buy tickets until 10:45 p.m. Eastern on draw nights.
West Virginia: Exact cut-off time is unclear. Find your retailer here and call for details.
Wisconsin: Cut-off time is 9 p.m. on draw days.
Wyoming: Draw breaks begin at 8 p.m. on the night of the drawing.