Sunday, December 10, 2023

Another Massive Mega Millions Prize Is Up for Grabs. Are Big ... - The Motley Fool

Headline-grabbing sums seem to be the new normal.

Key points

  • The Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL), which runs the Mega Millions and Powerball lotteries, is responsible for some major changes to its games.
  • A wider player base means more money in the pot.
  • High interest rates can also artificially inflate the quoted jackpot.

If the recent trend of huge jackpots has caught your eye, you're not alone. In fact, catching the eye of the public may be exactly why jackpots are getting larger. The last seven years have seen the 10 largest U.S. lotteries ever won, half of which have been won since 2021. But before you try your luck, it may be worth considering why these jackpots are stacked so high -- and what it could mean for you.

Changing the game

The Multi-State Lottery Association is one of the biggest names in intra-state gambling, and exercises nearly complete control over the games it conducts. And when those games, including the Powerball and Mega Millions lotteries, rack up billions of dollars, even small changes can have a huge impact.

One reason for larger jackpots is that they are harder to win. Prior to 2017, your odds of winning the Mega Millions lottery were roughly one in 258.9 million. In October of that year, the MUSL made long odds even longer, dropping your chances of winning to about one in 302.6 million. And when it's harder to win, the chances of the jackpot going unclaimed and continuing to grow are better.

What's a dollar worth? If you're the MUSL,...

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