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Mega Millions bumping up starting jackpot to $15M

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Mega Millions, the multi-state lottery game sold in Florida and most of the United States, is bumping up its starting jackpots, starting Oct. 19.

 The top prize will starts at $15 million, up from $12 million, and will grow by at least $5 million after each drawing in which the jackpot is not won.

 They are also increasing the prize for those who just miss out, from $250,000 to $1 million for matching the first five numbers, only to miss on the Mega Ball. If players choose Megaplier for $1 more, non-jackpot winning tickets can win up to $5 million without matching all six numbers.

 Mega Millions drawings will still consist of five white balls and one gold Mega Ball. Under the new matrix, the number of white balls will increase to 75 and the number of gold balls (the Mega Ball) will decrease to 15. The result will be overall odds of just 1 in 15 to win any prize.

 “The purpose of these changes is to turn up the excitement level,” said Paula Otto, Virginia Lottery Executive Director and lead director of the Mega Millions Consortium.

 Mega Millions became the third large lottery game in Florida, when the state added it May 15. The Florida Lotto, played only in this state, began in 1988 and Powerball, which sells for $2 a ticket, started up here in 2009. Mega Millions and the Florida Lotto cost $1.

Mega Millions is played in 43 states plus Washington, D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Drawings are at 11 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays. Profits from every Mega Millions ticket sold remain in the state in which the ticket was sold. For more information, visit www.megamillions.com.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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