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History of the Mega Millions Lottery

MegaMillions ticketsHistory of the Mega Millions Lottery

There’s got to be a ‘rich’ history behind the Mega Millions, pun intended. The inter-state lottery game that boasts of the largest jackpot in North America was established in August 1996. Georgia along with Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan and Virginia were the first states to feature the lottery. The first drawing was held on September 6, 1996. It was a weekly affair with draws held every Friday until February 1998 when increasing demand for tickets by the public prompted the authorities to hold an additional draw on Tuesdays. New Jersey joined the other six states in 1999 with other states jumping on the bandwagon over the next few years.


More moolah – more states

In 2002, the name of the inter-state lottery game was changed to Mega Millions. New York, Ohio, and Washington State obliged its lottery fans by joining the party the same year while Texas followed in 2003. Texas was the first state to introduce the Megaplier, where you can increase your earnings by up to 5 times except the jackpot. In 2005, California became the twelfth state to participate in the Mega Millions. A larger choice of numbers and massive prizes were enough of a marketing tool to lure not only more players but states as well. By January 2010, 23 additional states joined Mega Millions as many states continued to push both Mega Millions and Powerball in a cross-selling agreement that paid rich dividends. Today, Mega Millions is available in 43 states in addition to the U. S. Virgin Islands and District of Columbia.


No greed, no pride – only money

Now here’s some juicier stuff about the Mega Millions from the past that’s even more motivating and interesting. The game has the distinction of shelling out the largest cash prize ever in a jackpot game worth $656 million. It was split three ways by lucky dudes or lasses from Kansas, Illinois and Maryland. More details about those ‘Three Amigos’ is available here. Remember, sharing is a virtue, and who would really want to be greedy when you could laugh all the way to the bank with a cool $200 million plus. That’s small change for big timers like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and dozens of others heavily loaded with greenbacks. But for the rest of us even a couple of 100k would be more than enough to strut around like Bugsy or Lady Godiva, wouldn’t it?


The stakes got bigger in October 2013 with a matrix introduced to create bigger jackpots and second tier prizes with better overall odds. Without sounding too greedy, let’s hope those prizes get even bigger in the years to come. It doesn’t matter if yours truly is a great grandpa by then. Wish you all the luck at stretching your buck.


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