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Mega Millions to change lottery game's game and prize structure

Apr 29, 2005, 7:12 pm

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Mega Millions

Updated: April 30, 2005, 8:10 am

First drawing of new game set for June 24

When California becomes the 12th state in which the Mega Millions multi-state lottery game is played, players across the country will see changes that will make it even more exciting.

The addition of California as a Mega Millions state adds 35.9 million people to the population of Mega Millions states, which increases the 12-state game total to 155.1 million, an increase of 30%.

Californians are expected to be as enthusiastic about Mega Millions as any of the other Mega Millions states.  The California Lottery's in-state jackpot game, Super Lotto Plus, has been very popular, reaching a jackpot of $193 million in February, 2002.

The basic Mega Millions game concept will not change. The price of tickets will remain at $1, and Mega Millions drawings will continue to be held Tuesdays and Fridays at 11:00 p.m. Eastern Time, 10:00 p.m. Central Time, and 8:00 p.m. Pacific Time.

"The components that have made Mega Millions such a hit will not change," said Virginia Lottery Executive Director Penelope W. Kyle. "These changes will just add to the excitement."

California is expected to join the Mega Millions game in June, and the first drawing of the new Mega Millions game will be June 24.

Virginia Lottery officials are working with other Mega Millions states to craft changes to generate the higher and faster-rising jackpots players say they want. The changes will include:

  • The prize for matching the first five Mega Millions numbers but not the Mega Ball number will increase from $175,000 to $250,000.

  • The prize for matching four numbers plus the Mega Ball number will increase from $5,000 to $10,000.

  • Players will select five numbers between 1 and 56 and a Mega Ball between 1 and 46, instead of the current 1 through 52 and Mega Ball between 1 and 52.

  • That will change the odds of hitting the jackpot from about 1 in 135 million to about 1 in 176 million.

  • The jackpot will start at $12 Million (a $2 Million increase).  More players and longer odds will lead to higher and faster-rising jackpots.

  • The odds of winning any Mega Millions prize will change from 1 in 43 to 1 in 40.

Mega Millions (formerly the Big Game) holds the record for the largest jackpot in North American history.  It reached $363 million in May of 2000.

Mega Millions is currently played in Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.

For more information about Mega Millions, visit USA Mega at

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