New Proposal Around Mega Millions Price Increase Includes Better Odds, Bigger Wins

Eric Raskin

Updated on:

mega millions ticket cash

A public meeting Tuesday of the Montana Lottery Commission revealed extensive new details of the potential changes coming in 2025 to the Mega Millions draw lottery game.

If what is being proposed becomes reality, the higher price point for customers will be accompanied by better odds of winning and larger payouts.

As first reported in depth by Lottery Geeks in April, the cost of a Mega Millions ticket is set to increase from $2 — which has been the price since 2017 — to $5, beginning next April.

During Tuesday’s meeting over Zoom, the Montana Lottery shared graphics spelling out the other updates in the works.

The headline item: The Megaplier, a prize multiplier that currently costs an additional $1 on top of the $2 base ticket price, will automatically be included at the $5 price point and can vary in value with each individual play.

So, any non-jackpot prize will automatically be multiplied for all winners — although there is a 5-in-23 chance the Megaplier will land on “1X,” whereas the current minimum Megaplier doubles the prize amounts.

The Megaplier possibilities currently span from 2X to 5X, and in the proposed update they would span from 1X to 10X. A different Megaplier amount would be chosen at random for each individual Mega Millions purchase — the Montana Lottery graphic shows a sample ticket costing $15 for three plays, with one play having a 1X Megaplier, another with 3X, and another with 5X. The distribution is proposed as seen below:

On average, the Megaplier amount will be 2.87X.

Mega Millions tickets are currently sold in every state except Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada, and Utah and can also be purchased in Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The timeline for potential ratification of the plan with the proposed changes is as of yet unclear. The nine Mega Millions consortium states that will decide whether or not to proceed with the modifications are California, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Virginia, and Washington State. The current lead director of Mega Millions is Gretchen Corbin, president and CEO of the Georgia Lottery.

Big boost to starting jackpot amount

With the ticket cost rising from $2 to $5, the starting jackpot amount is set to rise in equal proportion, from $20 million to $50 million. So, whenever a jackpot is hit, the grand prize for the next draw will reset to $50 million, pre-tax, for a winner choosing the annuity payment option.

Every draw includes five white balls and one gold Mega Ball, and the number of Mega Balls available will be reduced under the new proposal. There are 37 gold balls at present, and the forthcoming format would improve the chance of hitting the Mega Ball by lowering the number of balls to 34.

The number of white balls would remain the same, at 70.

The Mega Ball change would alter the odds up and down the board — improving any individual ticket’s chances of winning.

According to the Montana Lottery presentation, the jackpot odds will improve from 1-in-302.6 million to 1-in-278.4 million, and the odds of winning a prize of some sort, ranging from getting your $5 back to scoring the progressive jackpot, will improve from 1-in-24 to 1-in-22.15.

The average jackpot amount is currently calculated at $387 million. Under the proposed new system, featuring a higher starting jackpot amount and expected larger increases with each rollover, the average jackpot is projected to be $694 million.

Naturally, this translates to expectations that the jackpot will cross the billion-dollar mark more frequently.

The current record Mega Millions jackpot is $1.6 billion won in August 2023, and the U.S. draw lottery jackpot record is $2.04 billion won in Powerball in November 2022. The chances of one or both of those records falling will increase under the $5 Mega Millions plan.