July 11, 2013 – Following the lead of Powerball and Mega Millions, the Illinois Lottery is making a few changes to its Lotto jackpot game that will bring bigger jackpots and more ways to win the smaller prizes.
The first and most major change is a price increase. Players used to get two plays for each $1 they bet on the game, which is changing to $1 for 1 play.
The change in price will allow for jackpots to become larger more quickly, but to make up for the doubling of the cost, the odds of winning any prize on the game will become significantly better, and prize amounts are increasing.
With the new format for Lotto, which starts this Sunday, July 14, players’ odds of winning are increasing from 1 in 32 to 1 in 7, more than four times better for Lotto players.
And with Extra Shot, which lets players choose an extra number for an extra $1, the overall odds will be just under 1 in 6.
A new addition to the prize matrix will allow players to get their money back for matching just two numbers with the regular Lotto.
With Extra Shot, the changes have brought the fixed payouts for matching one number plus the Extra Shot to $10, and matching two numbers and the Extra Shot to $25.
You can find all of the changes to the prize payout structure on Illinois’ FAQ web page, here.
The drawing schedule is also set to change, most notably moving the Wednesday drawing to Thursday. According to the Lottery, the Thursday drawing will “remove [Lotto] from the shadows of our multistate games”.
The new drawing schedule, then, means Lotto drawings will be held Monday, Thursday, and Saturday nights.