Iowa Lottery CEO Terry Rich says the first change involves the a decision to double the cost of the one dollar Mega Millions ticket. “The Mega Millions group decided to increase their price to two dollars and up their jackpots. We know that many people love playing the five-plus-one games like Powerball for one dollar — so we are adding a brand new game called Lotto America,” Rich says.
Powerball started out as a $1 game before increasing to $2 back in 2012. Lotto America was the name of the first game where you’d pick your own numbers back in the 1980’s, and Rich says it’s reboot fills the gap for a one dollar ticket.
“It’s got an old name that was the original game before Powerball, but its got a whole new play style, and we think it will be attractive to many players,” Rich says. Rich says the game will answer the requests of those who say they’d like to win, but don’t need the mega jackpots He says Lotto America will be a regional game available in 15 states. Rich says the jackpots won’t go as high as Mega Millions and Powerball, but the odds of winning will be better.
The change to the $2 Mega Millions ticket also includes a change in format where you choose five numbers from a pool of 70 and then a Mega Ball number from a pool of 25. The current game lets you pick five numbers from a pool of 75, and then a Mega Ball from 15 numbers. The odds of winning the jackpot in the new format will be longer — but the odds will improve for winning a one million dollar prize for matching just the first five numbers.
Players in the Lotto America game will choose five numbers from a pool of 52 and than a Lotto America Star Ball from a pool of 10 numbers. Rich says it was important to keep the one dollar game. He says they know that many people like the one dollar games and as soon as Mega Millions made the announcement of the price increase, they went looking for a new game.
Sales for the $2 Mega Millions tickets will begin Oct. 28 and the first drawing in the revamped game will be Tuesday, October 31st. The game’s jackpots will start at 40 million dollars rather than the current 15 million dollars.
The Lotto America game begins sales November 12th and its first drawing will be November 15th. It will have drawings on Wednesday and Saturday nights.