Mega Millions to Make Some Changes This Fall

The multi-state Mega Millions lottery game is following in the steps of Powerball and shaking up the formula a bit.  The changes take effect this fall.

The redesign of Mega Millions will mean a bigger starting jackpot and better overall odds of winning a prize. Pennsylvania Lottery Director Todd Rucci says there’s no change in the price, it will remain one dollar.

The starting jackpot will be 15 million dollars, up from the current 12 million and it will add at least 5 million dollars each time it rolls.

Players will choose the first five numbers from a bigger pool of 75 numbers compared to the current 56. The Mega Ball pool will shrink from 46 to 15 numbers. The overall odds of winning any prize will improve, but the odds of winning the jackpot will increase.

The changes take effect October 22nd. After the July 23rd drawing, advance play draws will decrease until the last drawing under the game’s current design.

Rucci says the changes are expected to produce three times as many winners overall, while producing bigger jackpots more often.

After changes were made in Powerball in early 2011, Rucci says they saw a great increase in sales.  They hope for the same results with the Mega Millions changes.

Mega Millions Lottery Jackpot at Historic Levels

The Mega Millions lottery jackpot has hit a record level for its  drawing on Friday, March 30th. The jackpot started building on January 27th, and will be the largest U. S. lottery Jackpot on record with an annuity value of at least 640 million dollars and tentative cash payout of 462 million. 

Pennsylvania joined the multi-state game in January of 2010 and this run has been very good for the lottery fund according to Lauren Piccolo, information specialist for the Pennsylvania Lottery. She says from the beginning of the run through the Tuesday drawing, the state lottery had already sold nearly 37.9 million dollars worth of Mega Millions tickets, translating into nearly 11.4 million dollars for programs to benefit older Pennsylvanians.

Piccolo says since the state joined Mega Millions, the game has generated about 260 million dollars in Pennsylvania sales and 80 million for programs benefitting older Pennsylvanians.

Piccolo says Mega Millions has been a great addition, allowing the state lottery to offer big jackpots four times a week. The state had already added Powerball in 2002.

The Mega Millions run marks the second big lottery jackpot so far this year. The  jackpot for the February 11th Powerball drawing was worth 336.4 million dollars, making it the third largest Powerball jackpot on record and the largest cash option payout in Powerball history.  It was the 7th largest jackpot in U. S. history.

Tickets for the Mega Millions drawing will be available until 9:59 pm on March 30th. Players select five numbers from 1 to 56 and select a Mega ball number from 1 to 46.  The lottery is making sure retailers have enough ticket stock and routine maintenance on lottery terminals have been suspended temporarily.