|Posted: October 25, 2013, 7:20 pm - IP Logged|
Risking $2 to win $5 million with odds of 1 in 46,230,510 playing Mega Millions
Risking $3 to win $2 million with odds of 1 in 5,153,633 playing Powerball
The odds of winning $1 million in MM are 1 in 18,492,204 and because the "5x" multiplier has odds of 1 in 2.5, the result is conditional. 60% of the time your prize will be less than $5 million. Using a weighted multiplier and dividing by cost, the 2nd prize for MM is worth ~10.5 cents versus ~12.9 cents in Powerball. So really, it's not as great as it seems
I've said it before, I'm not a fan of either Megaplier or Powerplay, but it seems like Megaplier may be the lesser of two evils.
Both Megaplier and Powerplay are side bets that return ~50% and when combined with the base wager increase 2nd thru 9th prizes total return:
MM from 17.42% to 33.68% with Megaplier
PB from 18.02% to 28.67% with Powerplay
New PB with variable multiplier: increases from 18.02% to 28.47% with Powerplay. Less than 1% difference, essentially a wash. The small difference coming from the need to create simple ball draw equivalent multiplier ratios:
2x - 5/10
3x - 3/10
4x - 1/10
5x - 1/10
Powerball is really limited in their options, which is why they couldn't do the 2nd prize with variable multiplier. They don't have the margin. They would either need to have even more ridiculous multiplier odds, or increase the price of Powerplay to $2, both would be bad PR moves. So they just did what they did.