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Posted: Thursday, Jan 03,2019 | Time: 04:00 am | Edited by: The Lottery Lab Staff
Most of us don’t play the lottery regularly but are tempted to play occasionally, especially when we see a big jackpot advertised in convenience stores and on billboards. Some of us play regularly for the very same reason! Whether you play the lottery regularly or not, you’ve probably heard about Powerball or Mega Millions lottery games which are played in 44 states plus the US Virgin Islands and District of Columbia. In October 2018, the Mega Millions Jackpot reached $1.6 billion and the Powerball Jackpot stood at $629 million for a combined total of over $2.2 billion. Such an astronomical amount is difficult to imagine and tickets sold like crazy. But how and when did the lottery jackpots become so huge? On October 23rd, 2018, the Mega Millions drawing at 11 PM Eastern Time announced the winner of possibly the biggest jackpot ever of worth $1.6 billion, read here! It even shadowed the previous biggest jackpot of $1.585 billion of Powerball which went to winners from California, Florida, and Tennessee in 2016. With the increasing payouts, sales of tickets are also increasing. More people are tempted to try their luck out! Lotteries are not new but why are the payouts for today’s lotteries are so huge? It first started when Powerball lottery authorities starting experimenting with the official lottery rules in the year 2015 to make it more difficult to win. The main idea behind making the win more difficult is that they widened the pool of numbers to choose from. With the widened pool, the chance of winning the jackpot decreased and rolling jackpots are more likely to grow. This rule changed the odds of winning the jackpot from approximately 1 in 175 million to 1 in 292 million. Mega Millions also changed its rules in 2017 for the same reason. Under previous rules, players need to pick five numbers from 1 to 75 and a Mega Number from 1 to 15. Now they need to pick 5 numbers from 1 to 70 and one mega number from 1 to 25 which ultimately boosted the odds of winning from approximately 1 in 292 million to 1 in 303 million. Now, it is pretty clear why lottery jackpots are growing at such a great rate that it tempts first-time players to purchase a ticket in hope that they might hit the top prize!