LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas lottery officials hope changes to the Mega Millions lottery will increase ticket sales.
Mega Millions ticket prices will increase from $1 to $2 starting at the end of October, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported . The starting jackpot will also increase from $15 million to $40 million.
Lottery officials said other changes include better chances of winning $1 million and higher average jackpots.
The odds of winning the top prize will get smaller, from 1 in 258 million to 1 in 302 million. However, the chances of winning a $1 million prize will improve from 1 in 18 million to about 1 in 12 million, said J.B. Landroche, a spokesman for Mega Millions.
Mega Millions yellow balls will increase from 15 to 25, and the number of white balls will decrease from 75 to 70, Landroche said.
Landroche said the changes are meant to bring players more value.
State records show that Mega Millions ticket revenue has been less than Powerball revenue for the last eight fiscal years. Mega Millions had more than $14 million in revenue in fiscal 2017, while the Powerball had almost $33 million in revenue.
Lottery officials didn’t factor in the Mega Millions changes into their fiscal 2018 revenue projections, said Bishop Woosley, lottery director. They have projected revenue of nearly $460 million with almost $84 million going to college scholarships.
Mega Millions is available in 44 states, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Washington, D.C.
The state lottery has helped fund more than 30,000 state Academic Challenge Scholarships each of the past seven fiscal years.
Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com