Changes made to the Mega Millions game structure took effect in October this year to compete with the revamp that the US Powerball underwent last year and inflate jackpots to even more incredible heights. And it appears to be working – since alterations took effect, the Mega Millions jackpot has rolled over twenty times to create a jackpot for today's draw of $400 million!
Paula Otto, the Virginia Lottery’s executive director and the lead director of Mega Millions, said, “The revamp has given us a game that has a better chance of rolling and growing more quickly." And though Mega Millions was offered in fewer states than Powerball until recently, its popularity is sure to grow with the larger payouts associated with these frequent roll overs. Mega Millions was originally only played in 12 states until the 2010 expansion alongside Powerball to all 43 states plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
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Megan Leo, an avid lottery game player, said, "Usually when the jackpot is this high, whether it's Powerball or Mega Millions, I'll play. Can't win if you don't try." Mega Millions’ new game structure will award more secondary prizes to balance out the decrease in odds for winning the jackpot, which went from one in 176 million to one in 259 million. Mega Millions organisers are hoping that the increase in odds for winning secondary prizes will draw in more Mega Millions players.
According to Otto, there have been 30 winners of the Mega Milllions $1 million secondary prize since late October, as well as two winners of the $5 million and $3 million prizes, respectively. "I think $1 million is still a tremendous prize, and a life-changing prize," said Otto. "It has been a really good addition to both Powerball and Mega Millions ... it really has refreshed the games."
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