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Declining lottery sales prompt more Powerball jackpot changes

Apr 2, 2020, 5:16 pm

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The Powerball Product Group today announced its decision to further modify the rules for determining each successive Powerball jackpot roll, and set a firm implementation date rather than waiting for the next jackpot winner.

Today's changes are in addition to the modifications announced just last week.

The new Powerball rules for determining the advertised jackpot will be based strictly on game sales and interest rates, completely eliminating guaranteed starting jackpot amounts and minimum jackpot increases.

Following the April 8 drawing, jackpot increases will be determined and announced by the Product Group prior to each drawing. Previously, Powerball jackpots started at $40 million (annuity) and increased by a minimum of $10 million (annuity) between drawings.

"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 Product Group announced plans last week to reduce the starting jackpot 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 COVID-19 pandemic, the Powerball Product Group revisited the topic and decided Powerball's advertised jackpot should be determined by game sales and interest rates effective following the drawing next Wednesday.

"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," said Mineo. "In response to the public health crisis, interest rates have declined. As a result, additional game sales are necessary to fund comparable jackpot amounts."

The advertised Powerball jackpot for Saturday's drawing is a guaranteed $180 million. If the jackpot is not won, it will grow to a guaranteed $190 million for the April 8 drawing. If the jackpot is won on Saturday night, it will reset to a guaranteed $20 million for the April 8 drawing and continue to grow based off sales and interest rates.  At that point, future jackpot resets will have no minimum amount.

Powerball tickets are $2 per play. Tickets are sold in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. (The Puerto Rico Lottery is currently shut down due to the coronavirus outbreak.) Drawings are broadcast live every Wednesday and Saturday at 10:59 p.m. ET from the Florida Lottery draw studio in Tallahassee. More than half of all proceeds from the sale of a Powerball ticket remain in the jurisdiction where the ticket was sold.

All Powerball drawings, including official drawing video, detailed breakdown of prizes, and exclusive Jackpot Analysis, are available at USA Mega (, a website devoted to the United States's two biggest multi-state lottery games, Powerball and Mega Millions.

With many lottery retailers shuttered due to the coronavirus, players trying to locate an alternate retailer can use the free Lottery Places app to find all the retailers near them, as well as retailers near any address they enter.

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