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America's multi-state lottery titans agree to ticket-selling partnership

Mega Millions / PowerballMega Millions / Powerball: America's multi-state lottery titans agree to ticket-selling partnership
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Even bigger, unified national game could be next

They are the two "marquee games" in American lotteries: Mega Millions and Powerball.  Each lottery state currently has one, but not the other.  However, the Mega Millions consortium and Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL) have reached an agreement in principle to cross-sell Mega Millions and Powerball in all U.S. lottery jurisdictions.

The agreement means that lotteries from across the United States, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, will be able to choose to offer their lottery players both jackpot games via their respective retailers.

States that currently sell Powerball and other lottery products will have the opportunity to begin offering Mega Millions tickets to their players via authorized lottery retailers. As a result of this agreement, Mega Millions states will then be able to offer the Powerball game to complement their existing game mix. No firm date has been set for implementation, although it is hoped that it could be in early 2010. It is also hoped that this could be the beginning of several joint initiatives.

"Lottery Post members have been waiting for this day to come for years," said Todd Northrop of Lottery Post, the Internet's largest community of lottery players.

"This new agreement will not only generate more player excitement, but should increase sales of both games, as players will have access to a mega-jackpot game four days per week, instead of just two."

"For states with computerized drawings, the addition of another game with real ball drawings should also help bring more players back to the ticket counter," Northrop added.

Mega Millions is currently played in 12 states, with a combined population of roughly 160 million. Powerball is currently available from 33 lotteries (31 states plus the District of Columbia and Virgin Islands) with a combined population of roughly 125 million.

At first, both could in effect become national lotteries, if all or nearly all of the existing jurisdictions — including the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands — elect to participate. More than 285 million people live in areas with these lotteries.

But an even bigger game is in the works as well.

"If we develop a national game, it will probably be at a different price point," said Tom Shaheen, president of the Powerball group. "It might be $2. It might be $5. It will be a single game, but we haven't worked out all the details of that yet. The other two games, I believe, would remain intact."

Such a super lottery could happen by next fall, said Chuck Strutt, the Powerball group's executive director.

The hope is to raise more money for state treasuries.

In March, New Jersey Gov. Corzine's proposed budget suggested adding Powerball as a way to raise $10 million more a year for coffers of New Jersey, one of the 12 Mega Millions states.  Other states, including Massachusetts, had similar budget assumptions.

One reason revenues should rise is that as jackpots soar, so do ticket sales.

When Mega Millions rolled over last night, its jackpot grew by $30 million, because it was already huge. As a result Friday's jackpot will be $200 million.

(Last night's numbers: 17, 31, 34, 45 and 51, with a Mega Ball of 24. Ten tickets won $250,000.)

Powerball, on the other hand, grew by "only" $5 million on Saturday night, because its jackpot was relatively low. Tonight's annuity jackpot is $30 million.

Increased sales should also mean giant jackpots would rise much faster — and get hit much sooner — perhaps heightening the frenzy.

Small jackpots, on the other hand, might grow more slowly as they wait for the higher payout to reboot.

Such consequences might spur modifications to either or both games, as well as lead to new games.

Although states do not have to opt in, they'll probably be under great pressure to do so, for fearing of losing revenue.

One impetus for the merger came from observations that many people crossed state lines to chase giant jackpots.

If New Jersey, New York and Maryland offered both games and Pennsylvania didn't, Pennsylvania's lottery revenues might fall, as people from neighboring states buy Powerball tickets at home.

Thanks to adamc224 for the tip.

Lottery Post Staff

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40 comments. Last comment 7 years ago by barbos.
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United States
Member #54390
August 17, 2007
313 Posts
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Posted: October 14, 2009, 10:20 am - IP Logged

That's just friggin' great.  Now the odds of winning are going to be way worse.  This may be the end of me playing the MM and PB.

    Avatar
    Indiana
    United States
    Member #79479
    September 2, 2009
    42 Posts
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    Posted: October 14, 2009, 10:57 am - IP Logged

    This is going to kill off State run lotteries.

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      Urbandale, IA
      United States
      Member #8624
      November 11, 2004
      115 Posts
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      Posted: October 14, 2009, 11:11 am - IP Logged

      That's just friggin' great.  Now the odds of winning are going to be way worse.  This may be the end of me playing the MM and PB.

      Of course, the odds stay exactly the same.  Just faster climbing jackpots and more jackpot winners.

        konane's avatar - wallace
        Atlanta, GA
        United States
        Member #1265
        March 13, 2003
        3333 Posts
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        Posted: October 14, 2009, 11:12 am - IP Logged

        I see those changes as a natural evolution of those games, and welcome Powerball BACK to Georgia. Banana

        I questioned why the Georgia Lottery eliminated it in favor of "The Big Game" (which morphed into "Mega Millions") back in 1996.

        The sooner they implement these changes the better.  It's the next best thing to being able to purchase other states' lottery tickets online.

        Good luck to everyone!

          Avatar
          Urbandale, IA
          United States
          Member #8624
          November 11, 2004
          115 Posts
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          Posted: October 14, 2009, 11:12 am - IP Logged

          This is going to kill off State run lotteries.

          These games are state lottery games.  A dollar earned looks just the same as the dollar earned on a pull-tab.

            Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
            Chief Bottle Washer
            New Jersey
            United States
            Member #1
            May 31, 2000
            23259 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: October 14, 2009, 11:17 am - IP Logged

            These games are state lottery games.  A dollar earned looks just the same as the dollar earned on a pull-tab.

            I agree.  In-state games will continue to exist, and will do just fine.  People play the in-state games because they have better odds of winning. 

            After all, that's why many people play Pick 5 instead of Pick 6:  even though the top prize is much lower, the odds of winning it are much better.

            There will always be people who don't see the big picture of more choice, more options, and more excitement that this announcement brings.  Heck, there are some who will get upset at ANY change at all, no matter what it is.  But I have to say that this is one of the most-requested topics I have heard from lottery players in the 10 years Lottery Post has been around.

            What a great day for lottery players in every state!

             

            Check the State Lottery Report Card
            What grade did your lottery earn?

             

            Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
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              Avatar
              Indiana
              United States
              Member #79479
              September 2, 2009
              42 Posts
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              Posted: October 14, 2009, 11:24 am - IP Logged

              These games are state lottery games.  A dollar earned looks just the same as the dollar earned on a pull-tab.

              Right, however, using my own state as an example, if Indiana adds the Mega Ball, I suspect they would see a huge drop in sales for their own state run lottery, the Hoosier Lottery. A drop in sales could cause states to discontinue their state run lotteries and stick with the larger Mega and PB. IMO of course.

                Avatar
                Indiana
                United States
                Member #79479
                September 2, 2009
                42 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: October 14, 2009, 11:28 am - IP Logged

                I agree.  In-state games will continue to exist, and will do just fine.  People play the in-state games because they have better odds of winning. 

                After all, that's why many people play Pick 5 instead of Pick 6:  even though the top prize is much lower, the odds of winning it are much better.

                There will always be people who don't see the big picture of more choice, more options, and more excitement that this announcement brings.  Heck, there are some who will get upset at ANY change at all, no matter what it is.  But I have to say that this is one of the most-requested topics I have heard from lottery players in the 10 years Lottery Post has been around.

                What a great day for lottery players in every state!

                I welcome Mega Ball to Indiana. Cant wait to play it here (currently drive to Ill. to play).

                  Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
                  Chief Bottle Washer
                  New Jersey
                  United States
                  Member #1
                  May 31, 2000
                  23259 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: October 14, 2009, 11:33 am - IP Logged

                  I welcome Mega Ball to Indiana. Cant wait to play it here (currently drive to Ill. to play).

                  I hear you, and I agree in that any time you change the offerings in a state, it does have a ripple effect.  But it's a complex thing, not always a zero-sum game.

                  For example, the days of the week that the new game is drawn can determine the effect.  For example, in your state, Indiana, the Lotto game is drawn on Wednesday and Saturday, so the addition of the Mega Millions game, with its drawings on Tuesday and Friday, may not impact the Lotto volume as you're expecting it will.  In fact, the addition of a big-jackpot game on alternate days can actually help sales, as it can turn occasional players into daily players.

                  There are many other angles too, not just the draw dates.  The point is that in-state games will continue to exist, and the lottery directors are careful to ensure the games continue to flourish, because the lottery depends on it.

                   

                  Check the State Lottery Report Card
                  What grade did your lottery earn?

                   

                  Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
                  Help eliminate computerized drawings!

                    TnTicketlosers's avatar - Lottery-065.jpg

                    United States
                    Member #71120
                    February 19, 2009
                    1209 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: October 14, 2009, 11:36 am - IP Logged

                    Thats why we drive to Georgia too.The pick 3 still remains on my desk everyday.Well let me just run on out and play these picks,I dont think so.They will do whatever they want no matter what we think about it.But I have a choice.And it will still remain on my desk and not played here,No disrespect to any player or anyone.

                      mymonthlypicks's avatar - spider
                      Virginia Beach,Va
                      United States
                      Member #65378
                      September 25, 2008
                      1180 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: October 14, 2009, 11:38 am - IP Logged

                      This is going to be interesting

                      1) more winner more ofter and jack pot stay 100M or below or

                      2) no winners for numberous drawing and maybe a Billion dollar JACKPOT Hmmmmmmmm

                       

                      I believe mostly that they wont carry over as ofter as now, but once in awhile their Will be JackPots beyond what were use to seeing. Good Luck everyone

                      I wished all State had progressive jackpot for 5 numbers without the bonus like Calf.

                      If OBAMA'S The ANSWER

                      How STUPID was the QUESTION?

                        berwin64's avatar - spaceee
                        New Member
                        Murfreesboro/TN
                        United States
                        Member #55814
                        October 21, 2007
                        1 Posts
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                        Posted: October 14, 2009, 11:40 am - IP Logged

                        I agree with you TN Player. All the way!!Bang Head

                          BabyJC's avatar - Lottery-031.jpg

                          United States
                          Member #3271
                          January 7, 2004
                          148 Posts
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                          Posted: October 14, 2009, 12:12 pm - IP Logged

                          Folks can now use the money that they would have spent on gas (to drive out-of-state etc.) to buy their lotto tickets now Smiley

                          ΩΩΩSmiley

                            Avatar
                            Oak Creek WI
                            United States
                            Member #5403
                            July 3, 2004
                            44 Posts
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                            Posted: October 14, 2009, 12:17 pm - IP Logged

                            I think it's great, PowerBall is adding two more states to it's list so it brings it up to 34 states in Power Ball  the odds suck. I have better odds in Mega Millions but have to drive to Illinois for a ticket. So with this change I can get my ticket right here at home and not have to drive to the state line to play Mega Millions. Finally a great idea.