Mega Millions Changes 2017
A series of Mega Millions game changes were introduced in October 2017, in a bid to create larger jackpots for players. The changes included an increase in the minimum jackpot from $15 million to $40 million and an increase in the number of Mega Balls from 15 to 25. The news was announced in late April by Gaming Commission general counsel Edmund Burns. The first drawing under the new rules took place on October 31st, 2017.
Here is a summary of the changes that came into effect on October 28th:
- The minimum jackpot increased from $15 million to $40 million.
- The odds for second tier prizes changed from 1 in 18 million to 1 in 12 million.
- Third tier prize payouts increased from $5,000 to $10,000.
- Other prize payouts doubled (prize tiers including fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth).
- The number of Mega Balls increased from 15 to 25.
- There was a $1 price increase, making the price of a Mega Millions ticket $2.
- Players must choose five numbers from 1-70 and a single number between 1-25.
- The odds for the Megaplier option changed and players can win up to $5 million for the second tier prize, if the Megaplier is 5x.
Just the Jackpot
Just the Jackpot was introduced on October 28th, 2017. The wager is offered in the majority of states, except for New Hampshire. The wager allows players to try their luck at winning the jackpot only, and they are not eligible for any prizes in the lower-tiers. The price of Just the Jackpot is $3 for two plays and to enter, players must select five main numbers from 1 to 70 and one Mega Ball number from 1 to 25.
The playslips for Just the Jackpot and the regular Mega Millions game are printed separately. You can pick up a playslip for Just the Jackpot at most authorized retailers in participating states. Players should also be aware that if you enter Just the Jackpot in Kansas and Texas, you can choose your own numbers. However, in other states such as Wisconsin, the numbers are generated by the lottery terminal.
Benefits of Changes
When commenting on the changes, Burns added "Without these rules changes, the Division of Lottery would need to remove the Mega Millions game from its portfolio of offerings and aid to education would be affected negatively".
These changes will also give players the chance to win bigger and better prizes, as well as help the states who participate in Mega Millions raise funds for much needed causes. They could also result in a new record for the largest Mega Millions jackpot, which is currently $656 million, won on March 30th, 2012.
Changes to Prize Payouts
This table displays the prize payouts changes that came into effect in October 2017.
|Match||Previous Prize Payout||New Prize Payout|
|5 Numbers + Mega Ball||Minimum jackpot was $15 million||Minimum jackpot increased to $40 million|
|5 Numbers||1,000,000||Remains the same|
|4 Numbers + Mega Ball||$5,000||$10,000|
|4 Numbers||$500||Remains the same|
|3 Numbers + Mega Ball||$50||$200|
|2 Numbers + Mega Ball||$5||$10|
|1 Number + Mega Ball||$2||$4|
|Mega Ball Only||$1||$2|
Changes to Odds
The odds for the jackpot, second tier prize and lower tier prizes also changed to help give players the opportunity to win bigger prize amounts.
|Match||Previous Odds||New Odds||5 Numbers + Mega Ball||1 in 258,890,850||1 in 302,575,350|
|5 Numbers||1 in 18,492,204||1 in 12,607,306|
|4 Numbers + Mega Ball||1 in 739,688||1 in 931,001|
|4 Numbers||1 in 52,835||1 in 38,792|
|3 Numbers + Mega Ball||1 in 10,720||1 in 14,547|
|3 Numbers||1 in 766||1 in 606|
|2 Numbers + Mega Ball||1 in 473||1 in 693|
|1 Number + Mega Ball||1 in 56||1 in 89|
|Mega Ball Only||1 in 21||1 in 37|
The overall odds of winning any prize changed from 1 in 15 to 1 in 24.
The Megaplier is still offered in all participating states, except for California. The changes in Megaplier odds are listed in the table below.
|Megaplier||Previous Odds||New Odds||2x||1 in 7.5||1 in 3|
|3x||1 in 3.75||1 in 2.5||4x||1 in 5||Remains the same|
|5x||1 in 2.5||1 in 15|
You can stay up to date with the latest game changes and other interesting developments by following @MegaMillionsUS on Twitter. In the meantime, players can continue to purchase tickets from authorized retailers or players can choose their numbers online.