Mega Millions Changes Coming In October Designed To Create More $1mil IL Winners

Changes will create larger, faster-growing Grand Prizes

For Immediate Release Contact: Chanele Newton 312-368-5814

Chicago, IL—August 15, 2013 — The Mega Millions game is undergoing big changes October 22. The soon-to-be revised game matrix will result in an increased number of prize winners. Other enhancements include: jackpots that start larger and grow faster; a minimum $1-million prize for matching the first five numbers; and improved overall odds of winning a cash prize—all for the same $1 ticket cost.

"Florida recently joined the Mega Millions group, adding some 15 million potential players to the pool. Given that significant increase, changing the number matrix, while keeping the ticket price the same, will make Mega Millions a more dynamic game, with larger grand prizes," said Lottery Superintendent Michael Jones. "This is the game that proved 'Anything's Possible' to everyone in the United States when one of the three winners of a $656 million prize in 2012 was from beautiful Red Bud, Illinois."

With the changes coming in October, the minimum jackpot for Mega Millions will increase from $12 million to $15 million, and will grow by at least $5 million after each drawing in which the jackpot is not won. Mega Millions drawings will still consist of five white balls and one gold Mega Ball, for a total of six winning numbers. Under the new matrix, the number of white balls will increase from 56 to 75 and the number of gold balls (the Mega Ball) will decrease from 46 to 15. The result will be overall odds of just 1-in-15 to win a prize (versus current overall odds of 1 in 40).

Jones said the changes were recommended by the Mega Millions executive committee, after seeing similar changes to the Powerball game in 2012. Those changes resulted in faster growing jackpots, higher sales, and increased profits to good causes.

Other enhancements include:

  • The prize structure will change. For example, the second prize will increase from $250,000 to $1 million for matching the first five numbers.
  • The Megaplier, a multiplier option that players can purchase for an additional $1 to increase non-jackpot prizes, will continue and be expanded to include a five factor. This means a Mega Millions ticket can now win up to $5 million by matching the first five numbers.

Under the new matrix, the odds of hitting the jackpot will be 1-in-259 million (versus the current 1-in-175 million).

Mega Millions Prize Structure


Base Prize

Odds: 1 in

5 + Mega Ball



5 (no Mega Ball)

$1 million


4 + Mega Ball



4 (no Mega Ball)



3 + Mega Ball



3 (no Mega Ball)



2 + Mega Ball



1 + Mega Ball



0 + Mega Ball



Overall chances of winning a prize: 1-in-14.7

The Mega Millions matrix was last changed in June 2005. Illinois is home of the largest Mega Millions prize awarded in history. In April 2012, a Red Bud, Illinois resident won $218.6 million; part of a $656 million jackpot split with winners in Kansas and Maryland.

About Mega Millions

Mega Millions is currently played in 45 jurisdictions: 43 states plus Washington, D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Drawings are Tuesday and Friday evenings at 11:00 Eastern Time, 10:00 Central Time, 9:00 Mountain Time and 8:00 Pacific Time. Profits from every Mega Millions ticket sold remain in the state in which the ticket was sold. For more information, visit


About Illinois Lottery

Founded in 1974, the Illinois Lottery has contributed over $20 billion to the state’s Common School Fund to assist K-12 public schools, as well as hundreds of millions of dollars to the Capital Projects Fund and to special causes like Illinois Veterans, the fight against breast cancer, MS research, and assistance for people living with HIV/AIDS. In addition to playing in-store, the Illinois Lottery offers online and mobile play for Mega Millions, Powerball and Lotto at Players must be at least 18 years old.