CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Several changes will be made to games at the West Virginia Lottery beginning Saturday.
The Lottory is ending the Hot Lotto game after 15 years. The game is being discontinued because of overall declining play.
Hot Lotto, which is currently played in 14 states, will be replaced with a new game in November called Lotto America.
Randy Burnside, public relations manager for the state Lottery, said Lotto America will be a lot like Hot Lotto, but it should offer larger jackpots that grow faster.
“One of the things that we heard from players about Hot Lotto is that it took a long time for that jackpot to grow because it growed in small increments, so the Lotto America game should offer players those faster growing jackpots that they like to see,” he said.
Burnside said they’re also redesigning the Mega Millions game. The starting jackpots will more than double from $15 million to $40 million.
“You’re going to see more million-dollar winners the way the new price structure is set up with the Match 5. It’ll be very similar to the Powerball game,” Burnside said.
The ticket price for Mega Millions will also change, moving from $1 to $2. Players will have a new $3 option for Just the Jackpot. It allows players to receive two entries for a chance to win the game’s jackpot only. Just the Jackpot tickets will not be eligible for any other prize levels.
The first Lotto America tickets will be sold for $1 each starting Sunday, Nov. 12, including $2 with the Sizzler option.
Burnside said it’s a normal practice in the lottery industry to change the gaming mix.
“You have to do it to keep players interested. What we’re seeing in sales data is people want bigger jackpots. People don’t play those games as much anymore until those jackpots get higher,” he said.
According to the Lottery, players who purchase tickets for the last Hot Lotto drawing will have 180 days from that draw date to claim prizes. Prize money not awarded at the end of the Hot Lotto game will be returned to players as prizes in other lottery products by the participating jurisdictions.
Lotto America drawings will be conducted every Wednesday and Saturday. Mega Millions drawing are every Tuesday and Friday.