Mega Millions jackpot rises to $27 million

Friday, May 17, 2002

ATLANTA -- Anticipating high ticket sales before the first Mega Millions drawing Friday, lottery officials have raised the estimated jackpot from $25 million to $27 million.

Mega Millions, a new multistate lottery that replaces the Big Game in Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey and Virginia, debuts Friday.

Ohio and New York also are Mega Millions states, and the state of Washington expects to join in September.

The new game promises jackpots starting at $10 million, double those of the Big Game.

And, lottery officials say, the average jackpot will reach $80 million -- with some nearing $500 million.

The $27 million for the first drawing includes a rollover of about $19 million from the final Big Game drawing, which was held Tuesday.

Tickets will cost $1, just as in the Big Game, but it will be harder to hit the jackpot. The odds have increased from 1-in-76 million to 1-in-135 million, because the pool of numbers from which players choose in the new game is larger.

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