PORTLAND — In an effort to boost Megabucks ticket sales, lottery players will soon be able to choose between a one-time cash jackpot payment or the current 20-year-annuity payout, the Tri-State Lotto Commission announced Thursday.
The cash payment, called Megacash, would be about half of the jackpot. Beginning next month, players will have to specify on their lottery ticket how they would want to receive their winnings.
“We expect that cash up front will make the game more exciting and may even bring more players to the game,” Linwood Higgins, Maine commissioner of the Tri-State Lotto Commission, said Thursday at a news conference.
Higgins said the new Megacash option will encourage players to buy tickets in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont’s three-state lottery more often, rather than just waiting for larger jackpots.
“Some players may not believe that $1.5 million paid over 20 years will significantly change their lives,” said Higgins.
Tickets with the Megacash option go on sale June 2, with the first drawing on June 5.