In the wake of Texas' choice to join the Mega Millions, the multi-state lottery game may be enhanced to include a multiplier option similar to the Powerball Power Play feature.
The multiplier option is among the points to be negotiated before Texas officially becomes a Mega Millions member state. Powerball players can pay an extra $1 and if they win a lower-tiered prize, their winnings can be multiplied by up to five times. Rebecca Paul, a leader in the Mega Millions organization, indicated that they are "absolutely" willing to do it.
Lottery officials have not announced any other requests for changes to Mega Millions, such as the number pools or prize structure.
If a deal is worked out, Mega Millions tickets could be on sale in Texas by late October or early November.
"Mega Millions is the best multijurisdiction game for Texas," said Reagan Greer, the lottery's executive director.
Officials said they expect $324.5 million in ticket sales in Texas over 10 months starting this fall.
Mega Millions, an organization of 10 states that team up on a lottery game designed to generate jackpots into the hundreds of millions of dollars, was recommended over the better-known Powerball consortium. Both groups made pitches to the commission on June 29, saying Texas would be welcomed into their mix.
Mega Millions had an edge, Greer said, because the organization is comprised mostly of larger states, including New York, Virginia and New Jersey. The game has drawings on Tuesday and Friday nights. Lotto Texas drawings are held on Wednesday and Saturday nights.
The issue was decided, Greer said, by answering the questions, "What is the best fit for the state of Texas? Who does Texas want to be at the table with?"
Officials say that joining a multistate game will likely cause a loss in ticket sales in such games as Lotto Texas, but that loss will be offset by the added excitement of large jackpots that Mega Millions are expected to generate. The game's current jackpot is $42 million.
Lottery Commission Chairman C. Thomas Clowe said he decided to move ahead with joining the multistate game because most of the 3,400 players who contacted the commission expressed support for the idea.
"This is the people of Texas' decision," Clowe said. "It must be pleasing to the people to be successful."