I was going with page 3 of the California Lotto winner's handbook that says the check will be available for pick-up at your nearest district office six weeks after your claim date (http://www.calottery.com/WinnersGallery/WinnerHandbook/)
The process must be different in other states.
Oh ok. I don't know if the multi-states are the same, don't know anything about the Mega Millions date but with the Powerball site they have this:
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET MY MONEY?
It takes two weeks to collect the cash from the stores around the nation. If you go to the lottery to claim your prize after that two weeks, then you can generally have the jackpot money (all cash or the first of the annual payments) hit your bank account the next day - maybe the following day if you come to the lottery office very late in the day.
Also, it may be worth noting that Jack Whitaker got $10 million upon having his check validated.
If I were to win I'd have the lawyer call up headquarters to validate the ticket and also ask them if there's money available immediately if we claim the next day and if not, how long there was between right then (when we valided) to the time the money is available to be wired into my account. Based on that is when I'd go collect, if no money was ready for 2+ weeks then I would simply wait it out as there'd be no reason for claiming then and by taking my time it wouldn't be in as many people's minds a few weeks down the road after the winning date.