The Multi-State Lottery Association and the Powerball Product Group have announced new major jackpot changes that will come into place starting April 8th. This comes only days after their previous statement that was reducing the starting jackpot to $20 million with a minimum increase of $2 million between drawings. Now, the Powerball officials completely eliminated the guaranteed minimum amount as well as the minimum increase threshold. Previously, the US Powerball lottery had a starting jackpot of $40 million with minimum rollover increases of $10 million.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected different aspects of the world economy as well as people’s lives. With many US states are under lockdown or similar recommendations coming from the local authorities, consumer behavior has also gone through noticeable changes.
On one hand, tickets sales are plummeting. For the draw of March 25th 2020, Powerball ticket sales amounted to a total of $21,695,328. This means a bit over 10 million tickets were sold, whereas for the same jackpot amount ($150 million), in the draw of December 18th 2019, over 15 million tickets were sold, with a total of tickets sales of $30,869,152. For the draw of April 4th, which displayed a jackpot of $180 million, the tickets sales volume was of $23,581,666 . The discrepancy is obvious when compared for the draw of December 25th 2019, when the jackpot was standing at a similar amount ($183 million) and the sales amounted to $34,600,190.
On the other hand, the need for good causes support in these uncertain times is growing exponentially.
The two sets of changes published on Wednesday, March 25th and April 2nd by the Powerball Product Group are necessary to ensure that ticket sales support the prizes offered in the Powerball game. This way, the US Powerball lottery can continue its operations under the same bi-weekly draws schedule as well as continue to contribute to good causes in all the 48 US Powerball jurisdictions.
Powerball players in many U.S. lottery jurisdictions are under shelter-in-place orders or recommendations from their governors or mayors, which have affected normal consumer behaviors. Just like other enterprises around the world that are making adjustments, we are making proactive changes to continue to offer the world’s premier lottery product. We would like to offer support to our loyal players during this unprecedented time. We are committed to being America’s favorite jackpot game.Gregory Mineo, Powerball Product Group Chairman and Maine Lottery Director. (March 25th, 2020)
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. Since last week, more states and cities have asked their residents to stay at home, which has affected normal consumer behaviors and Powerball game 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.”Gregory Mineo, Powerball Product Group Chairman and Maine Lottery Director. (April 2nd, 2020)
No decision has been made, however, on how long the changes will be in place.
FAQs regarding the Powerball changes due to corona virus pandemic
- What will the starting jackpot be?
There is no guaranteed amount for the Powerball starting jackpot. Every time the jackpot is won, it will reset at an amount decided and published by the Powerball Product Group.
- How much will be added between draws?
The minimum increase was eliminated. All future jackpots will be calculated based on game sales and interest rates.
- When will these changes come into place?
The changes will come into effect starting the draw of Wednesday, April 8th.
- For how long will the new rules be valid?
No decision has been made on how long the changes will be in place.