Rules Changes Led to Current High Lottery Prizes

Mega Millions Jackpot Reaches New Record High

Texans will be glued to their TVs tonight with champaign dreams, as the six Mega Millions balls are chosen, but a recent rule change has made it even harder to win the estimated $445 million jackpot, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

Under the old rules, players picked five numbers from 1 to 75 and a Mega number of 1 to 15. Now it's been changed to numbers from 1 to 70 and a Mega number of 1 to 25.

 Dawn Nettles, who runs the Texas Lotto Report, says it went from 258 million combinations to 302 million combinations. Why did they do it?  She says, if there are fewer winners, the jackpots get higher.

"The media picks up on that, and then you have people who don’t generally play out there buying tickets," she explains.

With the rules changes, she says the odds are so astronomically high, there should be consumer protection to stop it. 

It's not the casual players that she's worried about. It's the addicts who spend money they can't afford, hoping to win these larger and larger jackpots.

"They're throwing tickets that are equivalent to dollar bills in their trash can," she explains.

Tonight's jackpot is the fourth highest ever for Mega Millions

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