The New York State Mega Millions has made some changes that might make winning a little easier – or harder – depending on how you look at it.
Under the changes: the odds for prizes other than the jackpot have increased from 1 in 40 to 1 in 15; but, you still have to get all five matching numbers to win the minimum prize of what is now $1 million, instead of $250,000.
Starting jackpots will increase from $12 million to $15 million, and will have a minimum increase of $5 million each time it is not won.
The changes also mean it's a bit harder to win the jackpot. Instead of a previous 176 million-to-1 chance of winning the odds are now 259 million-to-1.
"Because the game is now played in 43 jurisdictions plus D. C. plus the Virgin Islands, there's just too many people playing so we had to right size it, so that's what we did. We right sized the game, we kept it at a dollar and it's going to be exciting because there will be more winners and there's going to be higher jackpots," said Gardner Gurney, New York Lottery director of operations.
The largest Mega Millions jackpot in history, $656 million, was won in March 2012.