The Mega Millions jackpot is growing, but that was kind of the plan

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The Mega Millions Jackpot Is Growing, but That Was Kind of the Plan

The Mega Millions lottery jackpot has been climbing higher and higher. As of Tuesday, it was at $454 million making it one of the largest jackpots in U.S. history.

Of course, that might pale in comparison to the $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot from January. But whether we're talking about hundreds of millions or over a billion dollars, jackpots in multistate lottery games seem to be getting bigger.

In recent years, both Powerball and Mega Millions were redesigned to turn out larger jackpots that you're less likely to win. Those changes, which include increasing the number of white balls used for each drawing, also make players more likely to win smaller prizes when they participate.

SEE MORE: "What To Do With Your Piles Of Cash After Winning The Powerball"

After a 2013 change to Mega Millions, a lottery executive said, "We can expect to see larger jackpots and greater excitement." In 2015, after a slump in sales, New York's Gaming Commission said Powerball's changes were "intended to increase the odds of winning any prize, while making it more difficult to win the jackpot prize."

ThinkProgress pointed out larger jackpots can lead to more "free media attention," which might encourage Americans to spend their money on lottery tickets.

The next drawing for the Mega Millions jackpot will be Tuesday night.

This video includes images from Getty Images and a clip from Massachusetts State Lottery Commission. Music provided courtesy of APM Music.

Mega Millions jackpot drawing July 5:

17 PHOTOS
Mega Millions jackpot drawing July 5 -- (updated with July 8 photos)
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Mega Millions jackpot drawing July 5 -- (updated with July 8 photos)
People line up outside Bluebird Liquors in Hawthorne, Calif., to buy lottery tickets Friday afternoon, July 8, 2016. The Mega Millions jackpot for Friday's drawing has soared to over $500 million. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
An electronic sign at Bluebird Liquors in Hawthorne, Calif., displays lottery jackpots Friday, July 8, 2016. The Mega Millions jackpot for Friday's drawing has soared to over $500 million. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
A player fills out lottery slips from texted instructions at Bluebird Liquors in Hawthorne, Calif., Friday afternoon, July 8, 2016. The jackpot for Friday's drawing has soared to over $500 million. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Jesus Vaquez issues lottery tickets at Bluebird Liquors in Hawthorne, Calif., as the Mega Millions lottery had reached $540 million by late Friday afternoon, July 8, 2016. The next Mega Millions drawing is this evening, after Wednesday night's drawing did not yield a winner. Bluebird is regarded as a very lucky place to play any form of lottery game. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Vee John takes her lottery tickets at Bluebird Liquors in Hawthorne, Calif., after the Mega Millions lottery had reached $540 million by late Friday afternoon, July 8, 2016. The next Mega Millions drawing is this evening, after Wednesday night's drawing did not yield a winner. Bluebird is regarded as a very lucky place to play any form of lottery game. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Chase Hardy buys lottery tickets at a 7-Eleven store, Friday, July 8, 2016, in Newark, N.J. The Mega Millions lottery jackpot for Friday's drawing has soared to over $500 million. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
A ticket is seen ahead of the Mega Millions lottery draw which reached a jackpot of $415 Million in Manhattan, New York, U.S., July 1, 2016. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
Diana Moore buys a Mega Millions lottery ticket Friday, July 1, 2016, in San Diego. Friday night's Mega Millions drawing will give lottery players a shot at the 10th largest jackpot in U.S. history. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
A ticket is seen ahead of the Mega Millions lottery draw which reached a jackpot of $415 Million in Manhattan, New York, U.S., July 1, 2016. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
An electronic billboard displays the current Mega Millions jackpot Tuesday, July 5, 2016, in Springfield, Ill. With slightly better odds than Powerball, it's rare that nearly four months passes without someone winning a Mega Millions jackpot, which has grown from $15 million prize to $454 million since the last winning drawing in March. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
A Mega Millions lottery ticket is printed out of a lottery machine at a convenience store in Chicago, Friday, July 1, 2016. Friday night's Mega Millions drawing will give lottery players a shot at the 10th largest jackpot in U.S. history. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Sara Thompson picks numbers for her Mega Millions lottery ticket at a convenience store in Chicago, Friday, July 1, 2016. Friday night's Mega Millions drawing will give lottery players a shot at the 10th largest jackpot in U.S. history. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
A customer shows his lotto tickets purchased at a grocery store, Friday, July 1, 2016, in Miami. Friday night's Mega Millions drawing will give lottery players a shot at the 10th largest jackpot in U.S. history. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
A customer fills out a Mega Millions ticket at a local grocery store, Friday, July 1, 2016, in Hialeah, Fla. Friday night's Mega Millions drawing will give lottery players a shot at the 10th largest jackpot in U.S. history. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
North Carolina Mega Millions lottery tickets rest on a counter at a Pilot travel center along Interstate 40 near Burlington, N.C., Friday, July 1, 2016. Tonight's Mega Millions drawing will give lottery players a shot at the 10th largest jackpot in U.S. history. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
North Carolina Mega Millions lottery tickets rest on a counter at a Pilot travel center along Interstate 40 near Burlington, N.C., Friday, July 1, 2016. Tonight's Mega Millions drawing will give lottery players a shot at the 10th largest jackpot in U.S. history. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
A Mega Millions ticket comes out of a machine, Friday, July 1, 2016, in Miami. Friday night's Mega Millions drawing will give lottery players a shot at the 10th largest jackpot in U.S. history. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
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