LANSING, May 15, 2002 – Today the Michigan Lottery says goodbye to The Big Game and hello to Mega Millions. Tuesday, May 14, 2002 marked the very last Big Game drawing and today marks the first day of sales for the new Mega Millions game.
Mega Millions, an enhanced version of The Big Game, succeeds The Big Game. Since there was no top prize winner in the final Big Game drawing last night, the jackpot for the first Mega Millions drawing is at an estimated $25 million.
The 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.
"Lottery players all across the state have been asking about the new game and eagerly awaiting its introduction," James Kipp, Acting Commissioner of the Michigan Lottery, said. "Michigan Lottery players have told us that they are looking forward to the bigger jackpots the Mega Millions game promises and the larger secondary prizes as well. The Big Game has always been very popular with our players and we expect that Mega Millions will be too."
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.
"Michigan Lottery players have been very lucky with The Big Game in the past," said Kipp. "We are truly looking forward to awarding Michigan winners with great Mega Millions prizes as we eagerly await our very first Mega Millions jackpot winner!"
Mega Millions live drawings will be conducted every Tuesday and Friday in Atlanta, Georgia at 11 p.m., and broadcast on cable superstation WGN out of Chicago. Mega Millions member states are Michigan, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Virginia.