Mega Millions Changes - What You Need To Know

Wednesday October 25th 2017

Mega Millions fans are preparing to usher in a new chapter in the game’s history as the popular multi-state lottery undergoes a number of changes. With the final draw under the current format set to take place this Friday, find out all you need to know about the new rules and how they will affect you.

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Why is Mega Millions Changing?

Mega Millions has been played in the US since 1996, though it was originally called The Big Game, and has existed in its current format since 2013. The alterations to the game format on October 28th 2017 will help to keep the lottery entertaining by providing innovation.

It is hoped that the changes will also lead to even bigger jackpots - with the potential for winnings to exceed $1 billion, like in the record-breaking Powerball draw in January 2016.

What Changes Will Be Made?

There are plenty of new and exciting changes being introduced to Mega Millions, including a brand-new matrix and a fresh wager type!

 Here are the 6 major adjustments and how they will improve a game that is loved by players across America and around the world:

  1. A New Matrix - One of the major changes to the game is the introduction of a new matrix, which will require players to choose five main numbers from a pool of 70; this is a reduction of five numbers on the current format. The number of Mega Balls will also be altered, increasing from 15 to 25.
  2. Better Odds in Some Prize Tiers - A reduction in the number of balls in the main pool means that players are more likely to secure themselves a reward in some of the game’s prize tiers, including the $1 million Match 5 category.
  3. Bigger Prizes in Some Tiers - The Match 4+1 award will rise from $5,000 to $10,000, with the Match 3+1 prize jumping from $50 to $200, for example.
  4. Larger Starting Jackpots - The starting jackpot will be much larger, increasing from $15 million to an impressive $40 million. This will help create much larger jackpots on a more regular basis.
  5. New Ticket Price - The cost of entry for Mega Millions will increase to $2. Along with the largest starting jackpot, this change will significantly boost the jackpot leading to a lot more nine-figure rewards being offered.
  6. New Wager Type - For $3, players can opt to play ‘Just the Jackpot’; this new feature allows players to forgo their chances of winning a lower prize in return for two chances to win the jackpot. Should this option be chosen, players must match all five main numbers and the Mega Ball in order to win and are not eligible for any other prize.

Where will Just the Jackpot be available?

It is thought that 6 states will initially provide Just the Jackpot as an additional extra for Mega Millions players - Georgia, Massachussetts, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota and Texas. Though other states are also likely to add the option once the Mega Millions changes are fully in place.

When Do These Changes Take Effect?

These latest changes are set to be introduced on Saturday October 28th, with the draw on Friday October 27th being the final game under the current rules. Don’t worry, the draw days will not change, with Mega Millions fans still being able to pick their numbers ahead of draws on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Out With the Old, in With the New

This Saturday will also see further changes made to the multi-state lottery scene, as time is called on Hot Lotto. First introduced in April 2002 to coincide with the 10th anniversary of Powerball, the game, which offers a tax free jackpot, will bow out after almost 16 years.

However, this November will see the launch of Lotto America, a brand new game that offers players the chance to win a fabulous jackpot. The game also has an additional eight prize tiers, each offering a fixed-cash reward. Tickets will be available to buy from Sunday November 12th.

One Last Hurrah 

If you would like one last opportunity to land the Mega Millions jackpot under the current rules, you really cannot afford to miss out on playing this Friday, when a jackpot of $30 million will be up for grabs. So, for your chance to win, pick your numbers online or purchase a ticket from any authorized retailer in participating states. Good luck!   


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