It’s been a long time coming.
I’ve been talking for years about this: why shouldn’t people who live in Powerball states also be able to play Mega Millions? Instead, I’ve had to drive from Philly to New Jersey to play Mega Millions. [Granted, for me, it’s not a long drive…but it is somewhat inconvenient for others who can’t easily cross over into another state that plays another game.]
In fact, I’ve long advocated for an American lottery. One reason: think of the billions of dollars that could go towards programs or just cutting the deficit.
Anyway, beginning Jan. 31, which is today as I write this, players in 33 states can play both multi-state games.
It was always about the money.
Powerball and Mega Millions, the two premier multi-state lottery games in the USA, entered into a cross-selling agreement late last year, in response to state legislators seeking new revenue sources.
Previous to the agreement, states were permitted only to sell tickets for one multi-state game or the other.
The agreement gave each state the option of selling tickets for both games.
33 states are doing exactly that.
The first Mega Millions drawing under the new cross-selling agreement will be Feb. 2, and the first for Powerball will be Feb. 3.
10 of the 12 states currently offering Mega Millions will add Powerball to their slate of games.
All of those states will offer the Power Play option as well. Power Play costs an extra $1 per ticket, and multiplies any non-jackpot prizes won by up to 5 times.
23 of the 33 states and jurisdictions currently offering Powerball will add Mega Millions.
All of those states will offer the Megaplier option, which is similar to Powerball’s Power Play option.
The Megaplier is a number between 2 and 4 drawn in the state of Texas, and the Megaplier is currently offered only in that state. The Texas Megaplier number will continue to be used as the official Megaplier number in each of the additional 23 states offering Mega Millions staring Jan. 31.
Texas will continue to be the only one of the twleve current Mega Millions states that will offer the Megaplier.
States like Ohio, which are not offering up both games, said they will, by Spring.
Here is the rundown:
States offering both Powerball and Mega Millions:
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- Washington, D.C.
- West Virginia
Powerball ONLY states:
- South Dakota
- U.S. Virgin Islands
Mega Millions ONLY:
- California and Ohio (for now)
GAMES WE PLAY:
The Powerball jackpot is up to $107 million, on Feb. 3.
The Mega Millions jackpot on Feb. 2 is reset at $12 million, after there was one winning ticket in Texas on Jan. 29.
Good luck, everyone.