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Mega Millions game undergoing changes in prizes

(Radio Iowa) - Iowa Lottery CEO, Terry Rich, says some changes are coming for the Mega Millions game. Iowa joined other states who play the Mega Millions game a few years ago as a companion to the Powerball game that was already played in the state.

“Both the Mega Millions and Powerball games have changed over the past few years quite a few times,” Rich says.”Usually that’s done by adjusting the number of balls that are drawn to win a certain prize and that’s exactly what’s happening here.” The players will go from choosing five numbers from a pool of 56 to a larger pool of 75 numbers.

The extra Mega Ball number pool will move to 15 from the current pool of 46 numbers. “Under the new matrix the odds of hitting the jackpot will increase somewhat with the Mega Millions game, but the big change will be on matching the five white balls — which will now allow a one-million-dollar jackpot. So, those that play for a dollar will also have a chance at the second prize of one million dollars,” Rich explains.

He says they’ve found players want bigger jackpots while also wanting more chances to win a smaller prize. Rich says that’s what will happen with the adjustments. “Starting with the Mega Millions drawing on October 22nd, the game’s minimum jackpot will grow form 12 to $15-million. And the jackpot will grow by at least $5-million when no one wins the big prize,” Rich says. He says they expect the new larger jackpots and the addition of the extra million dollar chance will make the game very popular.

The changes will move the odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot from one in about 176-million to about one in 259-million.