Mega Millions jackpots will be bigger, but it will cost players a little more to buy a ticket, according to a news release on the lottery’s website.
Jackpots will start at $40 million, instead of the previous $15 million, and Mega Millions expects the jackpots to grow faster.
Ticket prices are now $2 instead of $1. Adding the “Megaplier” that will multiply nonjackpot prizes costs an additional $1.
To win the jackpot, players pick five numbers from 1 to 70, one Mega Ball number from 1 to 25. Matching all six numbers in the drawing wins the biggest prize.
The odds of winning the jackpot are now greater, making it more likely the jackpot will roll over from drawing to drawing and grow. Under the new rules, winning a lesser prize becomes easier.
The changes are a response to consumers’ interest in large jackpots, Mega Millions President Debbie D. Alford said in the news release.
“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.
The change brings the Mega Millions play more in line with the other national lottery, Powerball. In that game, players pay $2 per ticket. Winning involves matching five numbers from 1 to 69 and a Power Ball from 1 to 26. An extra $1 “Power Play” multiplies nonjackpot prizes.
There are eight other ways to win smaller monetary prizes by matching fewer numbers in both games.
The largest Mega Millions jackpot was a $656 million prize split by three winners in Illinois, Kansas and Maryland in 2012, according to the news release. Powerball set a record with a $1.6 billion jackpot prize split by winners in California, Florida and Tennessee in 2016.
The prize for the next Mega Millions drawing — Tuesday at 11 p.m. — is estimated to be $40 million, according to the lottery’s website. Drawings are held on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Powerball’s estimated jackpot is $52 million. Drawings are Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10:59 p.m.
Lisa Wilson: 843-706-8103