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Powerball Jackpot Plummets To $22M Thanks To COVID-19-Related Changes

Mega Millions and Powerball are making new changes to adjust to COVID-19.

The health crisis has forced people around the country to spend a lot more time indoors than usual.

Having fewer people out and about has led to significantly decreased sales for both of the popular games.

The new changes for the Mega Millions and Powerball aim to combat that loss in revenue.

Mega Millions adjusts the minimum jackpot

Currently, the Mega Millions jackpot stands at an estimated $145 million. The next drawing is on April 14.

Typically, there’s a guaranteed starting jackpot of $40 million for the game. That number also increases by a guaranteed $5 million in between every normal drawing.

However, the Mega Millions will no longer have a guaranteed starting jackpot number. The minimum increases between every drawing have also been eliminated.

The new value for the starting jackpot will change for every new game since sales are a lot more unpredictable during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gordon Medencia, the lead director of the Mega Millions Consortium, released a statement about the changes.

“The value of the Mega Millions jackpot is based on projected sales, and typical sales patterns have been altered because the current health crisis has required people to stay home. We are concerned, first and foremost, with everyone’s health and well-being.”

Mega Millions drawings take place every Tuesday and Friday. The game is available in 45 states.

Powerball makes similar changes

Powerball is in the same spot as the Mega Millions. It’s also doing away with minimum increases between drawings.

However, the Powerball is keeping a guaranteed starting jackpot of $20 million.

Much like Mega Millions, the Powerball usually has a starting jackpot of $40 million.

However, Powerball’s minimum increases are normally twice as large. There’s typically a $10 million bump between every draw.

The estimated Powerball jackpot was $190 million when it hit on April 8.

Going forward, the starting jackpot’s value will change based on sales. The estimated jackpot for the April 15 drawing is $22 million.

Powerball Product Group Chairman Gregg Mineo said that the Powerball needed to adapt to the situation.

“These changes are necessary to ensure that ticket sales can support the Powerball jackpot and other lower-tier cash prizes. Our number one priority is making sure that the Powerball game can continue to assist lotteries in raising proceeds for their beneficiaries.”

Drawings for the Powerball jackpot happen every Wednesday and Saturday, with the next one coming on April 11.

Powerball has made other changes recently

The Powerball just announced some new developments on March 25.

Those changes cut the $40 million starting jackpot in half, while dropping the roll increases in between each drawing from $10 million to $2 million.

So what changed so quickly to make even more changes necessary? Mineo offered some insight into the situation.

“Since last week, more states and cities have asked their residents to stay at home, which has affected normal consumer behaviors and Powerball sales. In response to the public health crisis, interest rates have declined. As a result, additional game sales are necessary to fund comparable jackpot amounts.”

Taking things one drawing at a time will help the Powerball be more fluid.

Rather than having to constantly set new fixed values, the Powerball Product Group can just react to its current sales. Future Powerball jackpot increases will be announced before each drawing.

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