The odds of winning the Mega Millions lottery game got a bit longer on Wednesday, but the prizes also got sweeter.
California became the 12th state in the Atlanta-based game, adding 36 million potential players that could swell the game's jackpots as high as half a billion dollars.
At the same time, the odds of taking the grand prize were tweaked -- from one in 135 million to one in 175 million.
"We're not ever trying to hide the fact this is a very long-odds game," said Georgia Lottery CEO Margaret DeFrancisco. "That's how you get to the big jackpots."
Starting Wednesday, players will pick five numbers between one and 56 and a Mega Ball number between one and 46.
Currently, players pick between one and 52 for all six numbers.
DeFrancisco said lottery officials have been working for over a year to craft odds that would factor in the number of new players and still allow for the massive payouts that lure more people to play the game.
"This game is all about big jackpots -- that's why people play," she said. "We can't have the jackpot hit at $12 million all the time because people just won't have the interest."
The minimum Mega Millions jackpot has been increased from $10 million to $12 million. The game's second prize has been raised from $175,000 to $250,000 for picking the first five numbers but not the Mega ball.
Third prize has increased from $5,000 to $10,000.
The odds of winning any prize in the game have increased from 1-in-43 to roughly 1-in-40.