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Mega Millions created monstrous jackpots – but made them harder to win

Since no-one has won Friday's Mega Millions drawing for a $ 1 billion jackpot, the estimated price on Tuesday night will be a record of $ 1.6 billion. It is the biggest jackpot in American history. But lottery prizes were not always this ginormous.

Mega Millions officials changed something in October last year and made jackpot payouts less frequent. But when they do, the amount is mind-blowing – as we can see in the latest jackpot from Mega Millions.
This year there have been only four jackpots – with payments of between $ 142 million and $ 543 million. Three of these have been among the top ten in the game's history.

Since 2002, Mega Million's jackpots paid millions in prizes around eight times a year, sometimes more than a dozen times. Some of these prizes have been as low as $ 1[ads1]2 million.

The price of the ticket has doubled

The tip of the Mega Millions ticket price, from $ 1 to $ 2, led to a major change in the starting amount. Each time there is a winner, the jackpot is reset to $ 40 million instead of $ 15 million.

And the number of balls and mega balls in the game changed significantly, increasing the chances of winning the second prize, even though it reduced those who hit the jackpot.

Odds are much higher.

With the ball changes, odds went to win the jackpot from 1 to around 258 million to 1 of around 302 million.

Lottery officials said moving was a mere response to players' conversations.

"We have a demand for innovation to hold fresh, entertaining lottery games and to deliver the sensational jackpots," said former Mega Million's president Debbie D. Alford at the time. "We are excited to deliver the opportunity to create more millionaires and also provide more opportunities to increase extra revenue for the respected reasons the lotteries benefit."

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