Starting with the October 22 drawing, Mega Millions players will see changes in the game. These will produce larger starting jackpots, faster growing jackpots, a million-dollar second prize and better odds of winning any prize – with no increase in cost.
“Players tell us time and time again they love playing for the big, life-changing jackpots,” said Kentucky Lottery President and CEO Arch Gleason. “With these enhancements, we expect to have faster growing jackpots – all for the same $1.”
The minimum jackpot will increase from $12 million to $15 million, and jackpots will grow by at least $5 million after each drawing in which the jackpot is not won.
Mega Millions drawings will still consist of five white balls and one Mega Ball, for a total of six winning numbers. Under a new matrix, the number of white balls will increase to 75 and the number of Mega Balls will decrease to 15. The result will be overall odds of just 1 in 15 to win any prize.
Other enhancements include a new prize structure (for example, the second prize will increase from $250,000 to $1 million for matching the first five numbers) and a change in the Megaplier option which will enable a player to win up to $5 million without matching all six numbers. These changes will be in effect after the October 18 drawing.
Under the new matrix, the odds of hitting the jackpot will be 1 in 259 million. The last time the Mega Millions matrix changed was June 2005.
Mega Millions is currently played in 43 states plus Washington, D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Drawings are Tuesday and Friday evenings at 11:00 Eastern Time (10:00 Central).