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Jackpot lovers will have more reasons to smile on Nov. 16 when the Louisiana Lottery begins sales for the multistate game Mega Millions with drawings on Tuesdays and Fridays. The Lottery currently offers the multistate jackpot game Powerball with drawings on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

"Featuring a starting jackpot of $12 million, unique draw nights and only $1 per play, Mega Millions brings our players more jackpot game choices than ever before," explained Lottery President Rose Hudson. "With Mega Millions, we continue to diversify our draw-style game portfolio -- including Powerball, Lotto, Easy 5, Pick 3 and Pick 4 -- offering something for everyone."

Starting Nov. 16, Mega Millions can be played for $1 per play at any official Lottery retailer by selecting five numbers from a field of 56 and one yellow Mega Ball number from a field of 46.
For matching all six numbers, players win the jackpot prize which starts at $12 million and continues to grow, based on sales, until it is won. The jackpot prize is advertised as an annuity, payable in 26 equal annual installments; however, players have the option of choosing a one-time lump sum payment equal to the amount of money that would have been invested to provide the annuity. The jackpot prize is pari-mutuel, meaning it will be divided equally among multiple winners. The odds of winning the jackpot prize are 1 in 175.7 million.

Mega Millions also features eight additional prize levels for different number-matching combinations that range from $250,000 for matching all five white ball numbers but missing the Mega Ball to $2 for matching just the yellow Mega Ball. Overall odds of winning any Mega Millions prize are 1 in 40.

Mega Millions players can multiply any nonjackpot prize up to four times when they add the Megaplier option to their ticket for an additional $1 per play.  At the time of each Mega Millions drawing, a Megaplier number of 2, 3 or 4 is drawn from a weighted field of 21 numbers (two 2s, seven 3s and twelve 4s). Mega Millions prizes for the bottom seven tiers ($2 to $10,000) are multiplied by that number. For example, if a player wins the $10 Mega Millions prize and the Megaplier is 4, the prize becomes $40. Also, the $250,000 match-5 prize becomes a set prize of $1 million when the Megaplier is purchased.

Mega Millions drawings are held at 10 p.m. CST every Tuesday and Friday in Atlanta, Georgia. Tickets can be purchased until 9 p.m. on the day of the drawing; tickets purchased after 9 p.m. on drawing nights will be valid for the next drawing(s). Beginning Nov. 18, Mega Millions drawings will be broadcast on official Lottery Drawing Show TV stations. Winning numbers will also be provided on the Lottery's website, and winning numbers printouts will be available from Lottery retailers.

As with all Lottery prizes, Mega Millions prizes are subject to federal and state tax withholding as required by law and must be claimed within 180 days of the drawing in which they are won.

Mega Millions match-5 prizes with Megaplier ($1 million prize) and jackpot prizes must be claimed at Lottery headquarters in Baton Rouge. Mega Millions prizes over $600 must be claimed at a Lottery regional office, and prizes of up to $600 may be paid by participating retailers.

"As we celebrate our 20th year of providing exciting entertainment options for our players, it's the perfect time to introduce Mega Millions," said Hudson. "We're anxious to welcome new Mega Millions millionaires into our family of mega-jackpot winners that includes 14 Louisiana Powerball jackpot winners."

Mega Millions is currently played in 41 states, plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Lottery ticket purchasers must be at least 21 years of age.  Anyone who may have a gambling problem or friends and family of anyone with a gambling problem should call toll free 1-877-770-7867 for help.  For security purposes, the Lottery strongly encourages players to sign the back of their tickets immediately after purchasing. More information on Mega Millions, including complete game rules and prize charts, will be available on the Lottery's website for the start of sales.