California Joins Mega Millions Game - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

06/22/05

California Joins Mega Millions Game

If you play the lottery, there's a big change coming in both your potential winnings and your odds. California just joined the Mega Millions lottery game, and that means millions more people will be tossing in their dollar to try to win big.

The odds of winning any kind of prize have gone up from 1 in 43 to 1 in 40.

"Well it gives you a better chance of winning, the more the merrier," said player XYZ.

But there is a downsize. The odds of winning the big jackpot by matching all six numbers has gone down. Now your chances are 1 in 175 million; it used to be 1 in 135 million.

But now with California players, the jackpots are expected to skyrocket. Some players don't really pay that much attention to the odds. They know if they don't play, they can't win.

And some of the money does go to a good cause. Since 1996, the State of Georgia has received $7.4 billion. The profits go to pay for state education programs like pre-K classes and the HOPE scholarship.

The drawings are on Tuesdays and Fridays. This week's jackpot is up to $42 million so far.

Reported by: Michelle Paynter, mpaynter@wtoc.com

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