Mega Millions: More expensive to enter, harder to win

Mega Millions is being redesigned with larger starting jackpots and faster rolls. Starting jackpots will more than double from $15 million to $40 million, and jackpots will grow faster overall.

The ticket price will change, moving from $1 to $2.

Mega Millions is also changing the range of numbers that players have to choose from, which will make the odds of winning the second prize of $1 million or more slightly better than they are now. But the odds of winning the jackpot will get worse — jumping from 1 in 258.9 million in this week’s drawings to 1 in 302.6 million under the new rules.

Mega Millions President Debbie D. Alford said that lotteries are responding to consumers with the latest changes.

“We have a demand for innovation to keep fresh, entertaining lottery games and to deliver the attention-grabbing jackpots,” said Alford, who also is president and CEO of the Georgia Lottery Corp. “We’re excited to deliver the opportunity to create more millionaires and also provide more opportunities to raise additional revenues for the respected causes lotteries benefit.”

The enriched Mega Millions game will debut October 28. Tickets for the game will cost $2 per play, and the new optional $3 wager Just the Jackpot allows players to receive two entries for a chance to win the game’s jackpot only. Just the Jackpot tickets will not be eligible for any other prize levels.

Mega Millions is one of the world’s biggest and most recognizable lottery games. Introduced as The Big Game in August 1996 with six member states, the game grew, becoming Mega Millions in May 2002. Mega Millions currently is played in 46 jurisdictions: 44 states plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The largest Mega Millions jackpot was a $656 million prize split by three winners in Illinois, Kansas and Maryland in 2012.

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