Winning a Mega Millions jackpot is a dream for many. Although it was always a very long shot, people from all over the world have entered their numbers in the bi-weekly draws, hoping they will be the lucky ones to beat the impossible odds, match the winning numbers and become the next Mega Millions jackpot winner, cashing hundreds of millions of dollars.
But, will such mouth-watering jackpot still be seen on display under the current context? According to the press statement released on April 3rd 2020 by the Mega Millions Consortium, we will start to see a change in the amount of money up for grabs.
Since the draw of April 3rd, resulted in a rollover, the jackpot was reset to an annuitized value of $127 million. This means a $6 million growth compared to the previous draw. However, there is no guarantee we will keep seeing this kind of growth in the near future. Starting the draw of April 8th, starting jackpots and rollover increases will be adjusted on a draw-by-draw basis. The calculations will be made based on ticket sales volumes and interest rates.
Briefly put, the two changes that will take effect starting with April 8th are:
- There is no longer a guaranteed amount for the starting jackpot.
- Minimum jackpot increases are being eliminated.
Why has the Mega Millions Consortium Made these Decisions?
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. Meanwhile, these adjustments will allow the states and jurisdictions that sell Mega Millions tickets to continue generating much-needed revenue to support state budgets.Gordon Medenica, Lead Director of the Mega Millions Consortium and Director of Maryland Lottery and Gaming
Indeed, the current pandemic and the restrictions imposed by local authorities in order to prevent the spread have kept people at home and away from convenience stores and other places where they were typically buying their Mega Millions lottery tickets. Several US states, including California, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Michigan, Maine, and Missouri have noticed a decline in lottery ticket sales.
According to the Detroit News, lottery ticket sales for the week of March 24 were down by 35% compared to the same period last year after Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer issued a stay-at-home order. According to the Iowa Lottery, ticket sales dropped each week of March, from about $754,000 for the week ending March 7 to about $666,000 for the week ending March 28 — even though the jackpot has continued to rise.
Looking at the numbers, the drop is obvious. The draw of March 31st, displaying a jackpot of $113 million generated sales of $16,026,794 across the US, whereas the draw of January 17th, with a slightly lower jackpot ($103 million) sold tickets worth $23,250,148.
FAQs regarding the Mega Millions changes due to corona virus pandemic
There is no guaranteed amount for the Mega Millions starting jackpot. Every time the jackpot is reset, the amount will be decided by the Mega Millions Consortium based on ticket sales estimations.
There is no minimum rollover increase. The $5 million guaranteed increase was eliminated.
The changes will come into effect starting the draw of Wednesday, April 8th.
No decision has been made on how long the changes will be in place.