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Posted: Wednesday, Mar 13,2019 | Time: 09:26 am | Edited by: The Lottery Lab Staff
In 2017, the Powerball jackpot astonished everyone by rolling up to $1.586 billion. That was just the first jackpot to reach such an enormous prize. After that, in 2018, Mega Millions reached an astonishing $1.6 billion. The public went wild and millions of people began purchasing tickets to take their shot at the prize. Both Powerball and Mega Millions are available in 44 states including Washington, D.C., US Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. That means over 310 million people were eligible to compete for the prize.
“People now have a chance to win $1 billion in the lottery but everything comes at a price.
People have a demand for innovation to keep fresh, entertaining lottery games and to deliver the attention-grabbing jackpot” president of Mega Millions Lottery, Debbie D. Alford stated in a press conference.
Therefore, to keep the lottery fresh and entertaining, Mega Millions introduced a new game format which is specifically meant to increase the size of the jackpots. Before, jackpots started at $15 million and now will start at $40 million, and will roll from there, which is something great for the players. It is the primary factor which will help jackpots reach the astonishing amount of $1 Billion, like the one which was drawn on October 23, 2018.
Bonus read: The Changing Landscape of Lottery Games
In addition, the changes are also inclined to make it even difficult for a player to win the top prize. Despite the potential for a larger prize, Mega Millions is making it more difficult to grab the first prize. To do this, they redesigned the game format. Before, players had to pick 5 numbers from 1 to 75 and a Mega Ball number from 1 to 15. Now, according to the new format, players have to pick 5 numbers from 1 to 70 and a Mega Ball number from 1 to 25. This increased the odds from 1 in 258.9 million to 1 in 302.575 million. The overall odds of winning any prize jumps from 1 in 15 million to 1 in 24 million.
Mega Millions also raised the price of the lottery ticket from $1 to $2. Additionally, they introduced two new features which will enable the players to pay an additional $1 to change the stakes of the game. The first feature increases the value of smaller prizes (not the jackpot). The second feature introduced by Mega Millions lets players aiming enter two games for $3, but those tickets are eligible for the jackpot only (not smaller prizes).
So far, the redesigned format showed produced a difference quite quickly when the Mega Millions jackpot reached $1.6 billion less than one year after the change. With such noticeable results, players are more inclined to purchase tickets when the jackpot is high. Meanwhile, when the lottery prize resets to $40 million, it is considered by many to be a bad bet. It is safe to say that the lottery landscape is changing and players can expect to see jackpots worth $1 billion more frequently!