Mega Millions Lottery is one of the most popular and widely played lotto in America and is played in 44 states plus in Washington D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Mega Millions was introduced as The Big Games in August 1996 with six member states. The largest Mega Millions jackpot to date is $656 million, which was split by three winners in Illinois, Kansas and Maryland in 2012. Lately in October 2017 some major changes were brought forward to this lottery and here are the five of the things that you should now remember when playing this lotto.
1. Mega Millions lottery will cost twice
The first major change to note is that Mega Millions lottery will cost twice now. The price of a ticket goes up to $2 — from the current $1 — and players may purchase tickets for up to 14 consecutive draws. Basic tickets for Powerball have been $2 each since Jan. 15, 2012. Multipliers of lower-tier prizes on both games remain at $1.
In the redesigned games, Mega Millions explains that players will select five numbers from 1 to 70 and one Mega Ball number from 1 to 25. In the redesigned game, players will have a 1-in-24 overall chance of winning a prize.
The new game will have an optional $3 wager — “Just the Jackpot” will allow players to receive two entries for a chance to win, well, just the jackpot. Those tickets are not eligible for any other prizes and the “Just the Jackpot” option will initially only be available in six states: Georgia, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota and Texas.
2. Bigger starting jackpots
Mega Millions’ grand prize will begin at $40 million instead of $15 million. That’s the amount that Powerball has had in place since Oct. 7, 2015. That will mean no more $25 million jackpots, such as the one that will be up for grabs Tuesday night for a $1 ticket.
3. Longer odds
To win the big prize that is drawn at 11 p.m. ET every Tuesday and Friday, players must match five white balls from 1 to 70 and one Mega Ball number from 1 to 25. As said above the new design of the game decreases the number of white balls from 75 but increases the number of red balls by 10, so the odds of winning the jackpot increase from 1 in almost 259 million to 1 in about 303 million. Overall, the chance of winning any prize will go from 1 in 15 to 1 in 24 with the changes.
4. Better chances to win $1 million
The players will have better odds at winning the $1 million prizes and better secondary prizes. Those odds drop from a 1-in-18.4 million chance of winning a million-dollar prize to a 1-in- 12.6 million chance.
5. Other secondary prizes will have higher dollar amounts in the updated game
$10,000 for matching four white balls and the Mega Ball, an increase of $5,000 but longer odds; $200 for matching three white balls and the Mega Ball, an increase of $150 with better odds; $10 for matching either three white balls (better odds) or two white balls and the Mega Ball (longer odds), an increase of $5; $4 for matching one white ball and the Mega Ball, an increase of $2 with longer odds; $2 for matching the Mega Ball, an increase of $1 with longer odds.
According to Mega Millions President Debbie D. Alford all these above changes are in response to customers who want big jackpots. Mega Millions’ new structure is expected to speed up jackpot growth and boost the likelihood of a jackpot reaching $1 billion.
In 17 states and the District of Columbia, a player will be able to wager $3 for two entries to win the game’s jackpot. The tickets will not be eligible for any other prize level, and players won’t be able to customize their numbers.
Initially, Mega Millions games in the District, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Wyoming will offer the Just the Jackpot option. Other lottery commissions will be able to offer it in the future.
When Powerball changed its game in October 2015, the odds of winning its grand prize rose to 1 in more than 292 million. But those record-breaking jackpots grabbed attention and the public’s pocketbooks, in some cases at the expense of Mega Millions.