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Mo Money: Mega Million jackpot minimum to soar by millions


Here’s a hit of news that may translate into bank for Mega Millions players.

Ohio Lottery officials confirmed this week that the minimum jackpot for the multi-state drawing will increase from $12 million to $15 million starting Tuesday. Jackpots will grow at least $5 million after each drawing where there is no jackpot winner.

In addition, the prize for matching five white balls without the Mega Ball will increase from $250,000 to $1 million, the Ohio Lottery says.

“Hopefully this will gain some excitement with the fans,” said Danielle Frizzi-Babb, Ohio Lottery’s communications director. The Mega Million is very widely known in Ohio.”

The Mega Millions matrix last changed in June 2005.

Mega Millions drawings will still consist of five white balls and one Mega Ball, for a total of six winning numbers. Under a new matrix, the number of white balls will increase to 75 and the number of Mega Balls will decrease to 15. The result will be overall odds of just 1 in 15 to win any prize.

Friday will be the last drawing under the old system.

Frizzi-Babb said Mega Millions will not be sold Saturday.

Mega Million tickets will still be $1 each when ticket sales resume Sunday.

The changes also include a new prize structure. For example, the second prize increasing from $250,000 to $1 million for matching the first five numbers. The Megaplier option will enable a player to win up to $5 million without matching all six numbers. The odds of hitting the jackpot will be 1 in 259 million.

“Our players in Ohio are loyal to the Mega Millions game, and we think these enhancements will generate even more excitement for the game, especially since the price of a ticket will remain at $1,” Director Dennis Berg said.

Mega Millions is played in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Virgin Islands and 43 states. Drawings are 11 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays Eastern Time.

Contact this reporter at arobinson@DaytonDailyNews.com or Twitter.com/DDNSmartMouth


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