You can buy Mega Millions tickets in Colorado up until 7:45 PM MT on the night of the drawings, which are Tuesdays and Fridays. The cutoff is strictly enforced, so any tickets bought after 7:45 PM will actually be entered into the next drawing, not the one occurring that same evening.
As a long-time lottery player and fan in Colorado, I want to provide a detailed guide on everything you need to know about buying Mega Millions tickets at the last minute. This includes cutoff times, ticket prices, retailer locations, and some expert tips to smoothly play the game in CO.
Let‘s dive in!
Why The Strict 7:45 PM Ticket Sales Deadline?
I‘m sure you‘re wondering, why can‘t I just buy a ticket at 7:55 PM if the drawing isn‘t until 8:00 PM? Great question!
The lottery has some good reasons for enforcing this early cutoff:
Processing logistics – They need 15 minutes to close out sales and get all ticket data processed before the drawing can happen. Cutting it too close causes issues.
Security – Ending sales before the drawing prevents any possibility of manipulation based on leaked info.
Clarity – A distinct cutoff eliminates confusion over which drawing a ticket is for. It‘s always for the next one if bought after 7:45 PM.
So while an early cutoff may be an annoyance, it‘s for legitimate causes. As an avid player, I‘ve come to respect the 7:45 PM rule in Colorado.
And here‘s a pro tip – I suggest buying before 7:30 PM to avoid the pre-cutoff rush! Lines get extra long right before 7:45 at popular retailers.
Mega Millions Sales On Drawing Days
On Tuesdays and Fridays when drawings occur, you can buy Mega Millions tickets starting from 4:30 AM until the 7:45 PM cutoff here in Colorado.
That gives you over 15 hours on drawing days to purchase tickets. But again, don‘t wait until the last minute! I like to buy my tickets in the morning or early afternoon to avoid crowds later on.
Here are the key drawing day sales times again:
Mega Millions Ticket Sales Hours In Colorado (Drawing Days):
|Day||Opening Time||Cutoff Time|
|Tuesday||4:30 AM||7:45 PM|
|Friday||4:30 AM||7:45 PM|
As long as you get your ticket before the deadline above, you‘ll be set for that night‘s drawing in Colorado.
Buying Tickets For Future Drawings
Good news – you aren‘t limited to just buying tickets on the day of a drawing. Retailers in Colorado sell Mega Millions tickets for future drawings too.
But the 7:45 PM cutoff still applies, even when buying in advance. Let‘s say you purchase a ticket on Saturday for the next Tuesday drawing. You‘d still need to buy before 7:45 PM on that Tuesday to participate.
Personally, I like to buy tickets weeks ahead when the jackpot gets really big. It guarantees I don‘t forget to play! Just hold on tight to your ticket until the drawing happens.
Mega Millions Ticket Prices & Options
If you‘re new to playing, Mega Millions tickets cost $2 per play here in Colorado. You can always buy multiple tickets in one purchase to boost your odds. I usually get 10 tickets at a time for the mega jackpots!
There‘s also an optional $1 Megaplier add-on available. It multiplies any non-jackpot prize you win by up to 5 times. But it doesn‘t impact the jackpot amount itself.
Based on the jackpot size, I‘ll decide if the Megaplier is worth it. Under $200 million, and I usually pass. But over $500 million, it can really increase your winnings on smaller prize levels!
And one last thing – retailers here can only accept cash or debit cards for lottery purchases. No credit cards allowed for Mega Millions tickets. Save that for the celebration once you win big!
Finding Authorized Sellers In Colorado
There are over 3,000 authorized Mega Millions retailers here in Colorado. Common locations include gas stations, convenience stores, liquor stores, pharmacies, and grocers.
You can use the Colorado Lottery website‘s retailer locator tool to find nearby sellers. Just enter your address and it will display options in your area.
I would stick to established, reputable retailers in your community. Here are the chains I frequent since I know they sell valid tickets:
- King Soopers
- Circle K
- Murphy Express
- Kum & Go
Avoid any shady resellers not affiliated with the state lottery. Authorized retailers will display an official Colorado Lottery sign. Look for that bright gold CO logo!
Post-Drawing Sales & Next Drawing Tickets
Ticket sales don‘t just stop after a drawing occurs on Tuesday or Friday nights. But any tickets purchased after 7:45 PM are for future drawings.
For example, if you buy a ticket at 9 PM on Tuesday, it would actually be entered into the Friday drawing later that week. This is a common area of confusion!
Here‘s when you can buy tickets for the next drawing after the current drawing concludes:
Post-Drawing Sales Times:
|Day||Sales Resume||Sales End|
|Tuesday||9:30 PM||1:00 AM|
|Friday||9:30 PM||1:00 AM|
The earlier you can buy again is around 9:30 PM once the current drawing wraps up. Just be crystal clear that any ticket bought after 7:45 PM is not for the drawing occurring that same night in Colorado.
I‘ve seen many disappointed players mistakenly think they scored a ticket for a drawing that already happened! Don‘t let this be you.
Can You Play Mega Millions Online In Colorado?
Unfortunately, you cannot buy official Mega Millions tickets directly through the Colorado Lottery website or app. All ticket sales are in-person only.
However, there are some authorized courier services that let you order tickets online for an extra fee. They will then physically buy a ticket on your behalf from a CO retailer.
One I‘ve used before is Jackpocket. While convenient, these services do charge service fees and may cap mega jackpot purchases.
In my opinion, the best option is still buying Mega Millions tickets in person at an authorized retailer. You‘ll avoid any third-party fees or hassles that way.
Tips For Playing Mega Millions In Colorado
After years of playing Mega Millions here in Colorado, I‘ve picked up some useful tips that I think can help fellow players:
Mind the cutoff – Always finish ticket purchases by 7:45 PM to avoid issues. Don‘t try cutting it close!
Buy early – Get tickets in the morning or early afternoon on drawing days before crowds gather.
Purchase in advance – For huge jackpots, buy tickets for future drawings to lock them in.
Consider Megaplier – Check the jackpot size to see if the prize multiplier add-on is worth it.
Use the retailer locator – Find reliable sellers near you to avoid any problems.
Pick numbers carefully – Decide if you want to do quick pick or carefully select.
Double check tickets – Review them thoroughly after purchase to confirm accuracy.
Sign immediately – Put your signature on the back right away for security and ownership proof.
Store safely – Keep tickets in a secure place until it‘s time for the drawing.
Following these tips will help ensure a smooth Mega Millions playing experience in Colorado. And hopefully guide you to that elusive jackpot win!
Let‘s Look At Some Colorado Mega Millions Data
To wrap things up, I wanted to provide some interesting Mega Millions data specific to Colorado:
Mega Millions Sales In Colorado Each Week
|Weekly Total||$2.7 million|
Top Mega Millions Jackpots Won In Colorado
|3/30/2012||9 winners||$656 million|
|12/17/2013||1 winner||$425 million|
|9/18/2018||1 winner||$402 million|
Mega Millions Prizes By Matching Numbers
|5 + Mega Ball||1 in 302 million||Jackpot|
|5||1 in 12 million||$1 million|
|4 + Mega Ball||1 in 931,000||$10,000|
|4||1 in 38,000||$500|
|3 + Mega Ball||1 in 14,000||$150|
|3||1 in 606||$10|
|2 + Mega Ball||1 in 721||$10|
|1 + Mega Ball||1 in 52||$4|
|0 + Mega Ball||1 in 37||$2|
Reviewing the data shows that Coloradoans purchase around $2.7 million in Mega Millions tickets each week! And some lucky players here have hit some massive jackpots over the years.
Hopefully these statistics provide some guidance on the best approach to playing and winning. I know they help keep me motivated to play responsibly every week!
Let‘s Win This Thing!
Well, that covers everything you need to know about buying last minute Mega Millions tickets in Colorado. I hope you found this guide helpful!
The key is making sure to buy your tickets before the 7:45 PM cutoff on Tuesdays and Fridays. Don‘t get caught trying to purchase entry into a drawing that already occurred.
Use the tips provided to set yourself up for a smooth, successful Mega Millions experience here in Colorado. Who knows, maybe you‘ll be the next lucky winner!
And if you do hit the jackpot, come find me so we can celebrate an amazing win! Good luck out there and play responsibly!