Missouri Lotto has its largest jackpot in a decade, but it’s still only $6.2 million

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A winning ticket in Powerball's Wednesday jackpot drawing was worth $163 million. The Mega Millions jackpot now stands at $145 million. That's despite each featuring a winner in October.

By contrast, Missouri Lotto's last jackpot winner was in May. It's taken six months for the state lotto jackpot to top $6 million. Wednesday night marked 52 straight drawings without a jackpot winner. Saturday's jackpot will be worth $6.2 million.

The last time the Missouri Lotto was in such a drought, we were all worried whether our computers would crash during Y2K.

Missouri Lottery Commission's Communications Director Susan Goedde said the Missouri Lotto faces a lot more competition today from multi-state games.

Although Powerball and Mega Millions have increased prices and made other changes to increase jackpots, the Missouri Lotto has remained largely the same. Pay jumps don't increase as the jackpot grows. Instead the jackpot starts at $1 million and $100,000 is added to each jackpot without a winner.

"Even $2 million or $3 million takes so long to get to," Missouri Lotto player John Fuller said. "Why not make it more and more so more people would play it?"

Sales were down more than 30 percent this past month for the Missouri Lotto compared to a decade ago, the last time the jackpot was this high.

Some people purchasing tickets Wednesday at Red X said it's not that people aren't interested in winning mere millions. Some of them didn't even know Missouri still had it's own Lotto.

"Show Me Cash, I thought -- I mean, always thought considered that was the Missouri Lotto," said Rich Enoch, a frequent lottery player.

Looking around at signs advertising Show Me Cash, Powerball and Mega Millions, Tonya Crouch had an idea of how Missouri could end its 6-month drought of lotto winners.

“Maybe they need to advertise it a little better to make people realize it’s still available, and it’s in state so your chances might be a little better," she said.

The odds of winning Missouri Lotto are roughly 1 in 3.5 million. That's compared to Powerball and Mega Millions odds that are closer to 1 in 300 million. Historically Missouri has averaged about eight Missouri lotto winners per year.