New York Lottery players just lost 45 minutes to buy Mega Millions tickets.
Starting on April 4, the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) is pulling back the purchase deadline for Mega Millions tickets to 10 p.m. on draw days.
Currently, draw-day tickets are available until 10:45 p.m. However, with the April 4 shift, the purchase cut-off shrinks to 10 p.m.
Despite the new purchase deadline, the usual 11 p.m. Mega Millions draw time remains.
New Cut-Off ‘Strictly Operational,’ Says New York Lottery
In a release shared on March 27, the NYSGC’s lottery division announced the upcoming change.
The earlier cut-off time, said NYSGC, will:
allow more time for the New York Lottery to conduct closing procedures for each Mega Millions draw. The change is strictly operational and will have no effect on those wishing to play Mega Millions.
What the Mega Millions closing procedures entail or why the lottery needs 45 extra minutes was unexplained. Additionally, the lottery’s claim that the operational change will not affect players remains unproven.
Anyone who misses the new deadline during the initial weeks of the shift may develop differing views.
Mega Millions Offers New Yorkers Multiple Ways to Win
Mega Millions is available in 45 US states, the District of Columbia, and the US Virgin Islands.
Tickets for Mega Millions are $2 each, and players can either choose a Quick Pick of randomly selected numbers or choose their numbers on their own.
If the latter, players pick six numbers from two separate number pools — five from between 1-70 and one Mega Ball number between 1-25.
Additionally, For an extra $1, players can activate the game’s Megaplier feature, which multiplies any non-jackpot win up to five times.
Another less expensive option, Just the Jackpot, charges players $3 for a pair of jackpot-only eligible Quick Picks.
In either case, all six Mega Millions picks must match the numbers drawn to win the jackpot.
Mega Millions Sales Total $100 Million for New York Schools
In January, Mega Millions fever reached a fervor nationwide, when the jackpot hit $1.35 billion.
One lucky winner from Maine collected the Mega Millions prize. It was only the fourth billion-dollar win (and second-largest prize) in the game’s history. In 2018, a player in South Carolina won $1.53 billion, the largest Mega Millions jackpot of all time.
While no one in New York has won any of the top Mega Millions jackpots, Jerson Garcia of the Bronx landed $20 million in January’s billion-dollar draw.
Additionally, New York’s Mega Millions revenues reached $294,562,279 in 2021-2022.
As a result, local school districts received $119,222,978 from New York Lottery Aid to Education during the same time frame. That year, New York Lottery’s contribution to education in New York state totaled $3.6 billion.
New Yorkers experiencing problem gambling can call or text 1-877-8-HOPENY (1-877-846-7369) for toll-free, confidential support.