July 18, 2013 – The Mega Millions game will undergo changes in October aimed at generating higher, faster-growing jackpots and more small-prize winners per drawing.
Last year, Powerball changed its price point from $1 to $2 in an effort to reach the same goal. Mega Millions players who like the game’s $1 price tag can breathe a sigh of relief – the price won’t be changing.
Instead, Mega Millions’ designers are making changes to the way the winning numbers are drawn, the prize structure, and even the optional Megaplier.
The new-and-improved Mega Millions game will draw each of the five white balls out of a drum containing 75. Currently, each drum holds only 56 white balls.
While the odds of matching the white balls have decrease considerably, the odds of matching the Mega Ball are set to increase – by a lot.
Instead of choosing a Mega Ball number out of a pool of 46, players will now choose from a pool of only 15 balls.
(Check out this post on making that Mega Ball work for you!)
While the change in the pools for the white balls makes it considerably more difficult to win the jackpot, Mega Millions designers say the overall odds of the game have increased from about 1 in 40 against to about 1 in 14 against.
And changes in the game’s prize structure will benefit players and create larger jackpots.
The guaranteed minimum jackpot will start at $15 million, rather than $12 million, and jackpots will grow by at least $5 million each rollover.
Players who won the top second tier prize can now expect $1 million prizes, instead of the $250,000 prize Mega Millions currently offers.
With an all new Megaplier option, which will add a x5 multiplier to non-jackpot prizes, the highest possible non-jackpot prize will now be $5 million.