Can You Play Mega Millions if You Are Not a US Citizen?

What do Nataliia from eastern Europe; N.B. from Switzerland; and B.G. from Spain all have in common? Each of them won an amazing Mega Millions prize after purchasing their tickets to the popular American lottery online at theLotter.

While N.B. and B.G. played the game in the years when the Mega Millions second division prize was worth $250,000, Nataliia won an incredible $1 million in a September 2017 draw.


Countless other players here at theLotter have won secondary Mega Millions prizes over the years, raising the question whether all of this is really allowed. Can foreigners play Mega Millions?

The answer is a resounding "Yes!" And here's the proof.

Do You Need to Be a US Resident to Win Mega Millions Prizes? No!

The official Mega Millions website states it quite clearly: "Visitors to the United States are always welcome to purchase tickets for our game from an American lottery retailer while they are visiting this country. You do not need to be a resident to win."

The game can be played by tourists, as well as by people living temporarily in the United States.

non-citizens can play mega millions

If You Are Not a US Citizen, You Can Play Mega Millions

The answer to the question "Can you play Mega Millions if you are not a US citizen?" is clear when you review the prize claim procedure on the Florida Lottery’s official website.

"To claim a prize of $600 or more, the player must … present one form of identification that is current or was issued within the past five years. … Acceptable forms of identification include:

  • A passport issued by a foreign government for non-annual payment option prizes.

  • A passport issued by a foreign government stamped by the United States Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services for annual payment option prizes."

In short, citizens of other countries can indeed receive American lottery prizes if they present their passport when submitting their claim. It is interesting to note that if a player wins the Mega Millions jackpot and chooses to take the annual annuity payments, they would have to be in a process of immigration or obtaining US citizenship.

Do You Have to Be a US Citizen to Win Mega Millions Prizes? No!

What about taxes? The amount of tax one pays on Mega Millions prizes depends on the state where the winning ticket was purchased.

The Colorado Lottery states on its website that visitors to the United States who win Mega Millions prizes "will be taxed at a higher rate than citizens."

The Kansas Lottery website explains the requirements in Kansas: "Non-residents will be required to provide an address outside of the U.S., and at least 30 percent of the prize amount (25 percent Federal, 5 percent State) will be automatically deducted for mandatory income withholding taxes."

Each state has slightly different tax requirements. An example: "For non-resident aliens, the Florida Lottery is required to withhold 30 percent federal withholding tax from all prize amounts." In Colorado, "non-citizens are taxed at 34% (30% Federal; 4% State)." In Texas, "The tax withholding rate for a nonresident alien is 30 percent on prizes of $600 or more."

can foreigners play mega millions

Can Foreigners Play Mega Millions? Yes!

There is one thing that it is important to remember. Foreigners and non-residents can indeed play Mega Millions but their tickets must be purchased in the United States. And winnings must be claimed in the United States. That is where theLotter comes in.

As an online ticket messenger service, we buy official Mega Millions lottery tickets on your behalf from licensed retailers in the United States. We keep your tickets secure in a safe in our local US office and transfer your smaller winnings to you directly and assist you in collecting your larger Mega Millions prizes.

You should have no hesitations at all. Like Nataliia from Ukraine; N.B. from Switzerland; and B.G. from Spain, you could win a huge Mega Millions prize by playing Mega Millions online, safely and securely, from wherever you are in the world. Good luck!

For more about Mega Millions, check out our Guide to Playing Mega Millions. Related to this topic is our story: Do You Have to Be a US Citizen to Play Powerball? You'll find the answer to that question in that article!