The Mega Millions jackpot is growing to astronomical levels, and those looking to stack up on tickets online could run into danger if they’re not careful about where they turn.
This week, the jackpot for the multi-state lottery climbed to $654 million after Friday’s drawing came and passed without any winners. As ABC News reported, the prize is now the second-highest in the lottery’s history and it will likely surpass that as the week goes on and the jackpot grows.
The gigantic jackpot has also led to a rush on lottery tickets, with states that participate seeing a huge jump in sales. Many are also looking to buy Mega Millions lottery tickets online, but officials who run the lottery have a warning for those who do.
The lottery’s official site notes that a handful of states allow customers to buy Mega Millions tickets online — Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, and North Dakota. Those looking to buy their tickets over the internet will have to register, and those living in New Hampshire, New York, or Virginia can also sign up for online subscriptions.
But there are also some dangers for those looking to play Mega Millions online. The lottery noted that scammers have ramped up efforts to use the Mega Millions name and logo to trick people into thinking they can play online or that they have won a big prize. These scammers usually target people through their email or mobile devices, telling them they can send money or personal information to play the lottery or claim a “prize” that they won.
“These scams tell users that their email address or mobile number was specially chosen to participate in, or has even won, a big-money drawing, often for $450,000 or $1 million,” the lottery noted in a press release, posting a series of official-looking notices that some people have received claiming they won a giant prize.
No winning lottery ticket was sold for the Mega Millions drawing Friday night, meaning the jackpot climbs to $654 million. https://t.co/omvaPzYIXZ
— Chicago Sun-Times (@Suntimes) October 14, 2018
There are other websites offering to sell Mega Millions tickets online, which often targets people living in the handful of states that do not participate in the lottery. As CNN noted in a 2016 report on these online sites, there is no way to verify whether they are legitimate, and experts suggest sticking with the official sites to buy Mega Millions tickets online.
Those looking to buy Mega Millions tickets online can check out the lottery site’s official page, which helps show where tickets can be purchased for residents of every state that participates.