MEGA MILLIONS MAY BE COMING TO COLORADO
DENVER –The organizations behind the Powerball and Mega Millions jackpot games have reached an agreement in principle to begin cross-selling their products in all U.S. lottery jurisdictions. The Colorado Lottery is one of 31 states that sell Powerball, but the agency could begin selling Mega Millions as early as next year, if approved by the Colorado Lottery Commission.
Mega Millions would not replace Powerball, but be an additional game for Colorado Lottery players to enjoy. Colorado began selling Powerball in 2001. The game, which offers a starting jackpot of $20 million, is played in 33 jurisdictions (31 states, plus the District of Columbia and Virgin Islands) with a population of 125 million. Created in 1996 as the Big Game, Mega Millions has a starting jackpot of $12 million and other prizes ranging from $2 to $250,000. The game is played in 12 states with a population of 160 million.
Beyond gaining approval from the Colorado Lottery Commission, the Lottery will have to work with its gaming vendor to make Mega Millions operational in Colorado. Powerball and Mega Millions each fund the jackpot differently, use a different process of estimating and guaranteeing jackpots and hold drawings on different nights. While Powerball drawings are held on Wednesday and Saturday, Mega Millions drawings take place on Tuesday and Friday.
“While many details need to be addressed, we’re excited about the opportunities that offering Mega Millions may bring,” said Colorado Lottery Director Jack Boehm. “We are always exploring new ways to bring entertainment to our players and customers. This is what helps us maximize the profit we generate for our beneficiaries throughout the state.”
In addition to the cross-selling partnership, the Multi-State Lottery Association (which operates Powerball) and Mega Millions have also agreed to develop a new national lottery game. Although the structure of the game is still being established, the two organizations hope to launch something by late fall 2010.
Proceeds from Powerball and the Colorado Lottery’s other games – Lotto, Cash 5 and Scratch – stay in Colorado to improve the quality of life in the state. Through Great Outdoors Colorado, the Conservation Trust Fund and Colorado State Parks, the Lottery has provided more than $2 billion in funding since 1983 to build new trails, preserve open space, construct recreation centers and protect wildlife habitat.
PHONE 303.759.6872 | CELL 303.945.9724