The Big Game Gets Bigger With Addition of Two States! Tickets For New "Mega Millions" Game Go On Sale May 15!

LANSING, April 10, 2002 – The Big Game will soon be getting bigger – so big that the name of the game will be changed to Mega Millions!

The upcoming addition of the New York and Ohio lotteries to the Big Game group necessitated the creation of the new Mega Millions game. The new game is expected to achieve average jackpots of $80 million with the potential to exceed $500 million based upon expected ticket sales across all participating jurisdictions. Tickets for the Mega Millions game will be sold exclusively in Michigan, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Virginia. The game will feature a minimum jackpot of $10 million, offer nine ways to win and have overall odds of 1 in 43 of winning a cash prize.

Tickets for Mega Millions will go on sale Wednesday, May 15, 2002 at a cost of $1 per wager. Just like The Big Game, the live drawings will be conducted every Tuesday and Friday in Atlanta, Georgia. The first televised Mega Millions drawing will be conducted on Friday, May 17, 2002 at 11 p.m. EST.

Mega Millions, an enhanced version of The Big Game, will succeed The Big Game. The final drawing for The Big Game will be held on Tuesday, May 14, 2002. If there is no top prize winner(s), The Big Game jackpot prize will roll into and become the jackpot for the first Mega Millions drawing.

"The Michigan Lottery is excited about the introduction of this new mega-jackpot game," James Kipp, Acting Commissioner of the Michigan Lottery, said. "We believe our players will like the bigger

jackpots the Mega Millions game promises to bring and the larger secondary prize levels as well.

The Big Game has been very popular with Michigan Lottery players since it started over five years ago. We expect Mega Millions will continue to build on The Big Game’s success!"

Since The Big Game started in September 1996, the state of Michigan has seen 10 lucky Michigan Lottery players win Big Game jackpots. One of those winners has the distinction of winning half of the largest lottery jackpot in North American history! Larry Ross of Shelby Township was the lucky winner from Michigan who won half of the $363 million May 9, 2000 Big Game jackpot. Ross chose to collect his $181.5 million share of the jackpot winnings in a payment for $90.3 million (the estimated cash value of the jackpot share before taxes). The following are the nine other Big Game jackpot winners:

Draw Date

Jackpot Amount


Retailer Who Sold
Winning Ticket


$45.6 million

"Friends Forever"
Lottery Club of Jackson

Buddy’s Mini Mart
in Vandercook Lake


$29.9 million

Joseph Yelda of Detroit

Arbor Drugs #52
in Harper Woods


$5 million

M&D Lottery Club
of Warren

Southland Corporation #26851
in Warren


$22 million

Over Due Lotto Club
of Pontiac

Joslyn Market in Pontiac


$17 million

Charles Willis of Canton

Bill’s Party Store in Ypsilanti


$7.4 million

L.E. Bird of Warren

Original Buscemi’s #3 in Warren


$22.9 million

Eban Cooper
of Redford Township

Kwicky Liquor Party Shop
in Redford Township


$57.7 million

Linda Calliea
of Chesterfield Township

Mama’s Pizzeria and Party Store
in Chesterfield Township


$43.7 million

Thaddeus Coats of Inkster

7-Eleven #13462
in Dearborn Heights

"We hope to see even more Michigan jackpot winners with the Mega Millions game," said Kipp.
"We know that our players have enjoyed the jackpots The Big Game has produced and they like to dream about becoming an instant multi-millionaire with the purchase of just one lucky ticket. That is why we believe the Mega Millions game, with its expected giant jackpots, will be very appealing to them!"

Mega Millions member states are Michigan, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Virginia.


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