Mega Millions Raises Ticket Prices, Boosts Starting Jackpot - NBC10 Boston
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Mega Millions Raises Ticket Prices, Boosts Starting Jackpot

The update will debut on Saturday, Oct. 28, with the cost of a ticket increasing from $1 to $2

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Mega Millions Ticket Increase

    The cost of a Mega Millions ticket is set to increase. Jen Maxfield reports.

    (Published Monday, Oct. 23, 2017)

    The price of a Mega Millions lottery ticket is set to double this weekend as a redesigned version of the game aiming to drive up bigger jackpots faster takes effect.

    The update will debut on Saturday, Oct. 28, with the cost of a ticket increasing from $1 to $2. The game's starting jackpot will also jump from the current $15 million to $40 million, Mega Millions announced.

    "We have a demand for innovation to keep fresh, entertaining lottery games and to deliver the attention-grabbing jackpots," said Mega Millions President Debbie D. Alford, who also is president and CEO of the Georgia Lottery Corp. "We're excited to deliver the opportunity to create more millionaires and also provide more opportunities to raise additional revenues for the respected causes lotteries benefit."

    To win the game’s jackpot, players must match five white balls from 1 to 70 and one Mega Ball number from 1 to 25. In the current game, players choose five numbers from a field of one to 75 and one Mega Ball from a field of one to 15.

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    The odds of winning the jackpot will increase from 1 in almost 259 million to 1 in about 303 million, according to the New York Gaming Commission. Players will have an overall one-in-24 chance of winning any prize, also an increase from the current odds of one-in-15.

    According to lottery officials, the update will make it easier for players to win the game’s second-tier $1 million prize for matching five white balls. Other secondary prizes also are being increased with the updated game:

    • $10,000 for matching four white balls and the Mega Ball, an increase of $5,000
    • $200 for matching three white balls and the Mega Ball, an increase of $150
    • $10 for matching either three white balls or two white balls and the Mega Ball, an increase of $5
    • $4 for matching one white ball and the Mega Ball, an increase of $2
    • $2 for matching the Mega Ball, an increase of $1
    Additionally, players in Georgia, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, and Texas will be able to wager $3 for two entries at a chance to win the game's jackpot only. The tickets will not be eligible for any other prize level, and players won't be able to customize their numbers.

    Other lottery commissions will be able to offer the Just the Jackpot option in the future. 

    Introduced as The Big Game in August 1996 with six member states, the game grew and became Mega Millions in May 2002. Mega Millions currently is played in 44 states plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

    Mega Millions' largest jackpot ever was $656 million, won March 30, 2012, and split among three tickets sold in Illinois, Kansas and Maryland, according to the lottery's website.