Mega Millions jackpot: Can you buy lottery tickets online?

With the Mega Millions jackpot topping $1 billion, interest in the next drawing has skyrocketed.

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The jackpot has grown for several months with no one winning the grand prize since April. Mounting ticket sales put the jackpot over $1 billion after Tuesday’s drawing.

While most people in the country have a lottery retailer within a few miles of their home, Mega Millions tickets are not sold in every state. Five U.S. states – Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada and Utah – do not participate in the lottery game.

And while residents of Alabama, Nevada and Utah can cross state borders to purchase a ticket, those who live in Alaska and Hawaii cannot, leading some to ask if they can purchase tickets online.

In a handful of states where Mega Millions tickets are sold in retail venues, you can also purchase tickets online by registering with the lotteries in those states.

In Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and the District of Columbia, you may buy Mega Millions tickets online. In New York, you may buy tickets online by purchasing a subscription with the state’s lottery.

According to the Mega Millions website, in “most cases, you must be residents of these jurisdictions (states) to participate in these purchase options, but in all cases you must be physically within their borders when you make any online ticket purchases.”

Details about how to register may be found on those lotteries’ websites (see Where to Play).