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Mega Millions to become even more, well, mega

by jmaloni


Sat, Oct 19th 2013 07:00 am

Game enhancements include larger and faster-growing jackpots, better overall odds

The Mega Millions game is about to get bigger.

Starting with the Oct. 22 drawing, Mega Millions players will see changes that include larger starting jackpots, faster growing jackpots, a million-dollar second prize and better odds of winning any prize - all for the same $1 players now pay.

"These improvements will allow for even bigger jackpots and better odds of winning - both of which will create more New York Lottery millionaires," said Gardner Gurney, acting director of the Division of the lottery. "Also the price of a Mega Millions ticket will remain $1."

Players will notice 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. Tickets reflecting the changes will go on sale Oct. 19.

Mega Millions drawings will still consist of five white balls and one gold 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 gold balls (the Mega Ball) will decrease to 15. The result will be overall odds of just 1 in 15 to win any prize.

The last time the Mega Millions matrix changed was June 2005. 

Mega Millions is currently played in 45 jurisdictions: 43 states plus Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Drawings are Tuesday and Friday at 11 p.m. ET. Profits from every Mega Millions ticket sold remain in the state in which the ticket was sold. For more information, visit www.megamillions.com.

Here are some of the other enhancements that players will see:

•The prize structure will change. For example, the second prize will increase from $250,000 to $1 million for matching the first five numbers.

•The Megaplier, a multiplier option that players can purchase for an additional $1 to increase their non-jackpot prizes, will be expanded to include a five factor. That means a Mega Millions ticket can now win up to $5 million without matching all six numbers.

Under the new matrix, the odds of hitting the jackpot will be 1 in 259 million.

Mega Millions Prize Structure


Base Prize

Odds: 1 in

5 + Mega Ball



5 (no Mega Ball)

$1 million


4 + Mega Ball



4 (no Mega Ball)



3 + Mega Ball



3 (no Mega Ball)



2 + Mega Ball



1 + Mega Ball



0 + Mega Ball



Overall chances of winning a prize: 1 in 14.7

About the New York Lottery

The New York Lottery continues to be North America's largest and most profitable Lottery, contributing $3.04 billion in fiscal year 2012-13 to help support education in New York state. The Lottery's contribution represents 15 percent of total state education aid to local school districts. 

New York Lottery revenue is distributed to local school districts by the same statutory formula used to distribute other state aid to education. It takes into account both a school district's size and its income level; larger, lower-income school districts receive proportionately larger shares of Lottery school funding.

The New York State Gaming Commission regulates all aspects of gaming and gambling activity in the state, including horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering, class III Indian gaming, video lottery terminal facilities at racetracks, the state lottery and charitable gaming.

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