The Mega Millions game is about to get bigger.
Starting with the October 22, 2013, drawing, Mega Millions players will see changes that include larger starting jackpots, faster growing jackpots, a million-dollar second prize and better odds of winning any prize—all for the same $1 players now pay.
"The purpose of these changes is to turn up the excitement level," said Paula Otto, Virginia Lottery Executive Director and lead director of the Mega Millions Consortium. "With all these enhancements, we expect to have one very exciting result: even larger jackpots. And the price of the Mega Millions ticket will remain at $1."
Players will notice that the minimum jackpot will increase from $12 million to $15 million, and jackpots will grow by at least $5 million after each drawing in which the jackpot is not won.
Mega Millions drawings will still consist of five white balls and one gold Mega Ball, for a total of six winning numbers. Under a new matrix, the number of white balls will increase to 75 and the number of gold balls (the Mega Ball) will decrease to 15. The result will be overall odds of just 1 in 15 to win any prize.
Here are some of the other enhancements that players will see:
* The prize structure will change. For example, the second prize will increase from $250,000 to $1 million for matching the first five numbers.
* The Megaplier, a multiplier option which players can purchase for an additional $1 to increase their non-jackpot prizes, will be expanded to include a five factor. That means a Mega Millions ticket can now win up to $5 million without matching all six numbers.
The last time the Mega Millions matrix changed was June 2005.