MegaMillions lottery doubles cost of tickets, boosting jackpots but lengthening odds

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Big changes are coming to the MegaMillions lottery.

It'll soon cost you more to buy a ticket, but the good news is the jackpots will be much larger than before.

Starting Saturday, the price for a MegaMillions ticket will double from $1 to $2, costing the same as a Powerball ticket.

They're doing this to create more demand.

The extra cost will help raise the jackpots even higher, enticing more people to play.

Besides raising the ticket price, the starting jackpot will also grow from $15 million to $40 million.

Another change: They're taking away five white numbers while adding ten red numbers, making it harder to win the jackpot but easier to win the secondary prize of one million dollars.

The chances of winning any kind of prize will actually get worse, from 1 in 15 to 1 in 24.

MegaMillions started back in 1996 and today, it's played in 44 states including Kansas and Missouri.

But in recent years, it's struggled to compete with Powerball.

Two years ago, Powerball raised its prices and lengthened its odds, and the higher jackpots offered each week have stolen away MegaMillions customers.

In the past two years, the Powerball jackpot has topped $200 million nine times while Mega Millions jackpot has topped $200-million just three times.

By the way, once these changes go into effect, it'll actually be harder to win the MegaMillions jackpot than the Powerball jackpot, but they hope the bigger payouts will attract more people to buy MegaMillions tickets regardless of the long odds.

The chance of winning the jackpot after Saturday?

1 in 303 million.



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