Support Local Journalism
Thank you for all of your comments, ideas, photos and support!
Guaranteed starting jackpot amounts, minimum increases to be eliminated
News Release, Maryland Lottery
The organizations that operate Mega Millions and Powerball have announced changes to ensure that the two games continue to support good causes that benefit from lottery profits in 48 U.S. jurisdictions. Here are questions and answers summarizing the changes:
What changes is Mega Millions making?
Changes to starting jackpots. If the Mega Millions jackpot is won in the Friday, April 3 drawing, the jackpot will reset to an annuitized value of $20 million rather than $40 million minimum offered in the past. Subsequent starting jackpot amounts will be determined by game sales and interest rates and will be announced prior to the drawings. There will be no minimum jackpot increase for each roll. Previously, the minimum roll increase was $5 million.
What changes is Powerball making?
Following the April 8 drawing, Powerball’s starting jackpot and the rate at which the advertised jackpot grows will be determined by game sales and interest rates. Guaranteed starting jackpot amounts and minimum jackpot increases will be eliminated. Previously, Powerball jackpots started at $40 million (annuity) and increased by a minimum of $10 million (annuity) for each drawing.
Why do these changes need to happen?
Game sales and interest rates are the two main factors that determine the advertised jackpots. Many states and cities have asked their residents to stay at home, which has affected normal consumer behaviors and the reduced sales of both games. In response to the public health crisis, interest rates have been reduced. As a result, more sales are necessary to fund comparable jackpot amounts. The Mega Millions Consortium and the Powerball Product Group elected to enact the changes to ensure that ticket sales can support the jackpots and other lower cash prizes.
When do these changes go into effect?
For Mega Millions, the changes take effect after the Friday, April 3 drawing. For Powerball, the changes will go into effect following the Wednesday, April 8 drawing although if there is a jackpot winner on April 4, 2020 the jackpot for the April 8 drawing will be $20 million.
Do these changes impact the other prize levels or the odds of either game?
No. The amounts of other cash prizes and the odds of both games are not affected by these changes. Each game has eight other prize levels, aside from the jackpot.
Didn’t Powerball previously announce changes that were supposed to happen after the next jackpot is won?
Yes. The Powerball Product Group announced on March 25 that it would reduce starting jackpots to $20 million (annuity) and minimum jackpot increases to $2 million (annuity) between drawings. Those changes were scheduled to go into effect after the current jackpot was won. However, due to the evolving public health crisis, the Powerball Product Group revisited the topic and decided Powerball’s starting jackpot and subsequent advertised jackpots should be determined by games sales and interest rates effective following the April 8 drawing.
Are these changes permanent?
The Mega Millions Consortium and the Powerball Product Group will each determine how long the changes will be in place. The two games are operated independently from one another. A change by one group does not mean a change for both groups.
Do these changes apply to any other lottery games?
No. The Mega Millions changes apply only to Mega Millions. The Powerball changes apply only to Powerball.
About Mega Millions
Mega Millions tickets are $2, and drawings are conducted every Tuesday and Friday in Atlanta, Ga. Mega Millions is available in 45 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. There are nine prize tiers, ranging from $2 to the jackpot. For an additional $1, players can add the Megaplier option to their ticket. Prizes on winning tickets with the Megaplier option will be multiplied, except for the jackpot.
Powerball tickets are $2, and drawings are conducted every Wednesday and Saturday in Tallahassee, Fla. Powerball is available in 45 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. There are nine prize tiers, ranging from $4 to the jackpot. For an additional $1, players can add the Power Play option to their ticket. Prizes on winning tickets with the Power Play option will be multiplied, except for the jackpot.