Changes Ahead for Mega Millions GameFriday, October 18th, 2013
Look for more prizes, bigger starting jackpots
Heads up, Mega Millions players! Exciting changes are coming to the game on Saturday, Oct. 19, to create mind-boggling jackpots and more multimillionaires than ever. For the same $1 ticket, you’re going to see better odds of winning a prize, larger-starting jackpots and faster-growing jackpots.
The changes debut with the Tuesday, Oct. 22 drawing and are the first revisions to the multistate game since June 2005. Mega Millions still holds the jackpot record over Powerball, another multistate game. Credit for the largest jackpot in history – $656 million – went to Mega Millions in March 2012. Both games sell in 45 states and jurisdictions.
“We expect these changes will increase interest and excitement in the game,” said Stephen Martino, director of the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency. “Improvements to the jackpots and better odds for winning any prize should attract players in greater numbers.”
Powerball changed its game structure in 2012 and doubled ticket prices to $2 in a move designed to boost its jackpots and generate player interest. The largest Powerball jackpot win of $590.5 million went to a Florida ticket holder in May 2013.
Mega Millions changes include:
- A jump in starting jackpots from $12 million to $15 million.
- A rollover of $5 million if a drawing doesn’t produce a winning ticket.
- An increase in second-tier prizes for matching five numbers from minimums of $250,000 to $1 million.
- Increased odds of winning any prize (odds improve from 1:40 to 1:15).
- Changes in two pools of numbers. Players will choose five of 75 white balls in the revised game compared to five of 56 white balls now. For the sixth ball, the gold Mega ball, players choose from 15 balls in the new game compared to 46 balls in the current game.
- An increase in the Megaplier option, which adds $1 to the cost of a ticket. Megaplier numbers (now 2, 3 and 4) are randomly selected before each Mega Millions draw and can multiply winnings by 2, 3 and 4 times. The revised game adds a 5x Megaplier to the mix.
Mega Millions drawings take place every Tuesday and Friday and are televised in Maryland at 11:22 p.m. on WBAL-TV 11. Players can also find results posted on the Maryland Lottery website at mdlottery.com.