Baton Rouge, La. - A higher jackpot is just one of several changes coming soon for the multi-state lottery game, Mega Millions. Officials with the Louisiana Lottery says Mega Millions will soon undergo changes designed to create larger jackpots and more millionaires. Key changes include a higher starting jackpot of $15 million, a new $1 million match-5 prize and better overall odds of winning any prize. The cost of a ticket will remain at $1. The first drawing under the new game design will occur Tuesday, Oct. 22. Mega Millions is now played in 45 lottery jurisdictions, including Louisiana.
Mega Millions starting jackpot will increase to $15 million from $12 million with a minimum $5 million increase each time the jackpot rolls. Odds of winning the jackpot will get longer from 1 in 175.7 million to 1 in 258.9 million. Also, the annuity payment option for the jackpot prize will go from 26 equal installments to 30 graduated installments.
The match-5 prize for matching all five white ball numbers, but missing the yellow Mega Ball number will quadruple from $250,000 to $1 million.
The prize for matching only the yellow Mega Ball number will decrease from $2 to $1, but the overall odds of winning any prize shorten from 1 in 40 to 1 in 15 to help produce three times more winners.
To achieve these new game features, 19 white ball numbers will be added for a total of 75, and 31 numbers will be removed from the field of yellow Mega Ball numbers for a total of 15.
The Mega Millions Megaplier option will also change, giving players the chance to multiply any nonjackpot prize up to five times, instead of four, when they purchase Megaplier. With Megaplier, match-5 winners have the potential to increase the $1 million prize to $5 million when the $1 Megaplier option is added to their ticket and the 5X multiplier is selected during the drawing.
Mega Millions is played by choosing five white ball numbers and one yellow Mega Ball number. The game offers nine prize levels for matching various combinations of the numbers drawn. The jackpot is won by matching all six numbers. Drawings are held Tuesday and Friday nights at 10 p.m.