Mega Millions, one of the most popular lottery games in the United States, has a rich history that spans over two decades. The game has undergone several changes and improvements over the years, but its core concept has remained the same: players choose six numbers, with the goal of matching them with the numbers drawn by the lottery. In this article, we will take a look at the history of Mega Millions, from its origins to the present day.
Mega Millions was first launched in 1996, under the name “The Big Game.” The game was created by a group of lotteries, including the Georgia Lottery, the Illinois Lottery, and the Maryland Lottery. The original version of The Big Game had a jackpot of $5 million, which was considered a huge sum at the time. The game was played in seven states and the District of Columbia.
In 2002, The Big Game underwent a major overhaul and was renamed Mega Millions. The changes included an increase in the jackpot amount, which was raised to $12 million, and the addition of a Mega Ball number, which players had to match in order to win the jackpot. The game was also expanded to include more states, and by 2005, Mega Millions was played in 12 states.
The biggest change to Mega Millions came in 2010, when the game underwent another revamp. The changes included an increase in the number of white balls from 56 to 75, and an increase in the number of Mega Ball numbers from 46 to 15. This made the odds of winning the jackpot much harder, but it also increased the potential jackpot amount to an unprecedented level.
Since 2010, Mega Millions has continued to grow in popularity, with more and more states joining the game. As of 2021, Mega Millions is played in 44 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The game has also seen some of the largest jackpots in history, with the largest being a whopping $1.537 billion, which was won in 2018.
In conclusion, Mega Millions has come a long way since its inception in 1996. The game has undergone several changes and improvements over the years, but its core concept remains the same: players choose six numbers with the goal of matching them with the numbers drawn by the lottery. With 44 states and the District of Columbia participating, Mega Millions is one of the most popular lottery games in the United States. The history of Mega Millions shows that with time the game and the jackpots keep on increasing and people keep on playing it and dreaming of winning it.