According to www.megamillions.com/about, the lottery game, Mega Millions, “is America’s biggest jackpot game with jackpots starting at $12 million and other prizes ranging from $2 to $250,000.” The popular game is available for play in 45 states across the United States.
Mega Millions holds the record for the highest Jackpot in United States history since the drawing in March, 2012. It was originally called the “Big Game” when it was first introduced in August of 1996. Only six states participated the first year; Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan and Virginia. The game’s popularity took off in the coming years, increasing the number of states that chose to play and adding an extra day for the drawing. In 2002, the lotto game received the current name of “Mega Millions”.
To play the game, each player may pick six numbers from two separate pools of numbers; five different numbers from 1 to 56 and one number from 1 to 46, or you can choose the “quick pick” option that allows the computer to choose your numbers for you. To win the jackpot you must match all six winning numbers in a single drawing.
In October, 2013, Mega Millions will be receiving a makeover that will re-format the way that the game is played and won. The cost of the game will remain $1.00, but the overall odds of winning and the megaplier option will be somewhat different. When the changes go into effect, players will choose their first five numbers from a pool of 75 instead of 56 and the last number from the group of numbers in the second pool that will change from 46 balls to 15. Also, if you match five of the six numbers, you will win 1 millions dollars up from $250,000.
The updated Mega Millions game will offer a starting jackpot of $15 million, up from the current $12 million, and will grow by at least $5 million every time the jackpot rolls. Adding to the excitement, purchasing the expanded Megaplier option will allow non-jackpot prizes to be multiplied by a factor of five — up from the current maximum of four.
-Todd Rucci, Pennsylvania Lottery Executive Director
The odds of winning will change to 1 in 14.71 from 1 in 39.89, and the odds of winning the jackpot will change to 1 in 258,890,850 from the 1 in 175,711,536.