Looking to deliver more “attention-grabbing jackpots,” Mega Millions is redesigning its national lottery game from increased ticket prices all the way through how many numbers players pick. The result will push the game’s starting prize from $15 million to $40 million and improve its odds of winning, a similar change in pricing and payouts that Powerball undertook in 2012.
Starting with the Oct. 28 game, Mega Millions will cost $2 per ticket, up from $1 previously, and players will pick five numbers from between one and 70, along with a Mega Ball number between one and 25. Under the game’s current scheme, players pick five numbers from between one and 75, along with one other number between one and 15. Jackpots are won by matching all six winning numbers in a drawing. The changes to the number selection will result in a one in 24 chance of winning a prize.
In addition, a new, optional $3 wager called “Just the Jackpot” will give Mega Millions players two tickets for the price of one-and-a-half. But, as the name suggests, these entries are not eligible for any prize other than the game’s jackpot.
Mega Millions—which is played in 44 U.S. states, plus Washington D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands—has seen its rival Powerball steal headlines since the former made its changes in 2012. The largest ever Mega Millions jackpot was a $656 million prize, split among three people in multiple states, in 2012. In July 2016, Mega Millions’ jackpot reached more than $500 million. In August 2017, a Massachusetts woman won $759 million playing Powerball. However, it’s worth noting that winning Powerball is harder than it used to be.