LOTTERY COMMISSION APPROVES MEGA MILLIONS
DENVER – The Colorado Lottery Commission approved the sale of the Mega Millions Jackpot game in Colorado at its monthly meeting Wednesday morning. The game, which is now being offered in 35 jurisdictions nationwide, could begin selling in Colorado in mid-May.
“We believe Mega Millions will complement our current line-up of games, offering another chance for our players to win a large jackpot,” said Colorado Lottery Acting Director Tom Kitts.
The Colorado Lottery began pursuing the idea of selling Mega Millions after the organizations that operate Powerball and Mega Millions formed a partnership allowing cross-selling in October 2009. Both games are now sold in 32 states and the District of Columbia.
Started 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 largest jackpot in Mega Millions history was a $390 million prize, won in March 2007 by two players in New Jersey and Georgia. Drawings for the games are held on Tuesdays and Fridays. The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are 1 in 175.7 million.
The Colorado Lottery has offered the Powerball Jackpot game since 2001. The game offers a starting jackpot of $20 million and an average jackpot of $95.5 million. A group of Nebraska meatpacking plant workers won the largest jackpot on record - $365 million – in 2006. Colorado claimed its first Powerball jackpot winners in October 2007, when SEEP Financial Group won $20 million. Drawings for Powerball are held on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are 1 in 195.2 million.
Proceeds from the Lottery’s games – MatchPlay, Powerball, Cash 5, Scratch, and Lotto - stay in Colorado to improve the quality of life in the state. The Lottery has returned more than $2.2 billion to the state of Colorado since its founding in 1983. Through Great Outdoors Colorado, the Conservation Trust Fund and Colorado State Parks, the Lottery has provided funding for new trails, precious open space and wildlife protection.