Powerball, Mega Millions change jackpot amounts, increases due to coronavirus

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Wednesday, April 8, 2020
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FILE - Mega Millions and Powerball lottery tickets

NEW YORK -- Not as many people are buying lottery tickets during the coronavirus pandemic.

Because of this, nationwide changes have been made to the Mega Millions and Powerball starting jackpot amounts and minimum jackpot roll increases.

Once the current jackpot grand prizes have been won, the new starting jackpot amounts will be determined and announced prior to each Mega Millions and Powerball drawings. Previously each game had a starting jackpot amount of $40 million.

The amount the jackpots will increase by between drawings for both Mega Millions and Powerball, will be established based on each game's sales and interest rates, with no set fixed minimum amounts. Previously, the minimum increase between drawings for Mega Millions and Powerball was $5 million and $10 million, respectively.

About Mega Millions Game Change

The new Mega Millions game rules were introduced by the Mega Millions Consortium, which is made up of 10 state Lottery directors across the United States, and went into effect on Friday, April 3.

"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," said Gordon Medenica, Lead Director of the Mega Millions Consortium and Director of Maryland Lottery and Gaming.

The Mega Millions jackpot was an estimated $127 million for Tuesday, April 7, 2020 draw. Mega Millions tickets are $2 and drawings take place on Tuesdays and Fridays at 11:00 p.m. ET.

About Powerball Game Change

The new Powerball game rules were introduced by the Multi-State Lottery Association, which is made up of 38 state Lottery directors in the United States, and will go into effect on Wednesday, April 8.

"These changes are necessary to ensure that ticket sales can support the Powerball jackpot and other lower-tier cash prizes," said Gregg Mineo, Powerball Product Group Chairman and Maine Lottery Director. "Our number one priority is making sure that the Powerball game can continue to assist lotteries in raising proceeds for their beneficiaries."

The Powerball jackpot for the next drawing on Wednesday, April 8 is an estimated $190 million. Powerball tickets are $2 per play and drawings take place on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10:59 p.m. ET.