PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Three years ago, Carl and Janet Szott, of White Oak, won the Mega Millions jackpot — a pretty cool $86.7 million.
Now, more Pennsylvanians could win an even larger jackpot — more like Powerball.
“Powerball and Mega Millions are both multi-state jackpot games that are sold in a number of different states,” says Gary Miller, a spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Lottery. “At the end of this month, Mega Millions will be changing to look and work more like the Powerball game.”
The first big change — an increase in the starting jackpot from $15 million to $40 million designed to attract more players.
“Makes it a lot more attractive,” says Dave Donnelly, a lottery player. “I usually don’t pay attention to that game. My parents play it, maybe because they feel the odds are better or they’re fewer numbers you have to match, but that’ll probably bring some more people in.”
In order to raise the starting jackpot up to $40 million, the ticket price is going up as well, from $1 to $2.
And officials say there are going to be a whole lot more secondary winners, as well.
“The new game rules will offer higher secondary prizes, and better chances to win $1 million prizes,” Miller told KDKA money editor Jon Delano on Wednesday.
Players will have a one-in-24 chance of winning something.
As for the jackpot, well, that’s a one-in-302 million chance, and, so far, the Szotts are the only western Pennsylvanians to beat those odds.
Since Pennsylvania joined Mega Millions in 2010, over $186 million have been awarded in secondary prizes.
The new Mega Millions program begins Oct. 28 with the first drawing on Oct. 31.
While the odds of winning will be harder under the new program, if you do win, you’ll get a lot more.
Lottery officials say there will be more millionaire winners under the new Mega Millions program.