Mega Millions to raise ticket price, jackpot Saturday

By Daniel Uria  |  Oct. 23, 2017 at 8:58 PM
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Oct. 23 (UPI) -- The cost of a Mega Millions lottery ticket is set to double Saturday, which will result in the chance of a bigger jackpot, lottery officials said.

The price of a Mega Millions ticket will rise from $1 to $2 and the starting jackpot will increase from $15 million to $40 million beginning with the Oct. 31 drawing.

Mega Millions requires players to match five numbers (white balls) and one Mega Ball with differing odds in order to win the jackpot prize. A new rule will also alter the odds of the game by decreasing the number of white balls from 75 to 70 and increasing the number of Mega Balls from 15 to 25.

Officials said the change will make it easier for players to win the game's second-tier $1 million prize for matching five white balls, while also increasing the likelihood of the jackpot reaching $1 billion.

Players also will have the option to purchase a $3 "Just the Jackpot" ticket that offers two chances to win the jackpot in exchange for forfeiting the ability to win any of the smaller prizes.

"We have a demand for innovation to keep fresh, entertaining lottery games and to deliver the attention-grabbing jackpots," Mega Millions president Debbie D. Alford said. "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."

The $2 ticket price and $40 million starting jackpot put the game on par with Powerball costs and payouts. The changes to the odds offer a more than 302 million to 1 chance to win the Mega Millions jackpot compared to Powerball's 292,201,338 to 1 odds.

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