August 2, 1999 — Lottery excitement is on the rise as players in the seven Big Game states are coming out in force to try their luck on a jackpot that grew from $90 million on Friday to an estimated $105 million for Tuesday night’s drawing (8/3/99). The jackpot increase is a result of increased ticket sales, bolstered in part by border sales as jackpot hopefuls from neighboring states cross state lines to purchase tickets.
"This is just incredible," said Rebecca Paul, president and CEO of the Georgia Lottery. "Player interest has really kicked into high gear and millions of people are trying their luck with The Big Game."
Illinois Lottery Director Lori Montana agreed. "It really starts to get fun when the jackpot climbs," she said. "I know lottery retailers in each of the seven Big Game states are busier than ever and they’re doing a great job."
The Big Game is a mega-jackpot, multi-state game with seven participating states. Tickets can be purchased in Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey and Virginia. The cost is one dollar for each set of numbers wagered.
"One dollar for the chance to win $105 million? You can’t beat that for stirring up players’ imagination," said Maryland Lottery Director Buddy Roogow. "People are having a lot of fun discussing what they would do if they won."
Added Massachusetts Lottery Director Jay Mitchell, the newest director to the consortium, "This is really exciting for our players and for me being the newest guy on the block," he said. "Massachusetts players have a long history with Lottery games and they are very loyal to The Big Game."
The Big Game started in August of 1996. The game boasts nine different prize levels including $1 for matching the Big Money Ball number and $150,000 for matching just the first five numbers. The jackpot keeps growing until one or more winners match for the prize.
"I think one of the greatest appeals of The Big Game is that there are so many different ways to win," said Michigan Lottery Commissioner Don Gilmer. "I’ve met with jackpot winners and hundreds of $150,000 winners – many have said they play because they feel there is a very good chance to win a cash prize."
After nearly three years since The Big Game’s introduction, it appears to have found its niche among lottery players throughout the country. The New Jersey Lottery was the most recent member state to join in May of this year, and the game has been particularly well received.
"I can’t believe the response!" said New Jersey Lottery Director Virginia Haines. "We had been looking for a game that would round out our product lineup and The Big Game has definitely struck a chord with our players. Clearly we made a good choice for New Jersey lottery fans."
"Combining efforts has been a very positive move for each of our lotteries," added Virginia Lottery Penelope Kyle. "Together we’re able to offer an attractive game to those who enjoy mega-jackpots with a chance at other prizes too. It will be exciting to see what happens Tuesday night!"
Big Game drawings are held on Tuesdays and Fridays at 11 p.m. EST. Players are reminded that chances to win The Big Game jackpot are 1 in 76,275,360. Responsible play is always recommended.