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Coronavirus has affected all aspects of our lives, and it turns out playing the lottery is no different.

The number of people playing the lottery has decreased since we have been put into lockdown.Nationwide changes have been made to the Mega Millions and Powerball draws. The starting jackpots and minimum rollover amounts have both been increased.

After each jackpot has been won, the new starting jackpot will be determined. Previously both draws started with a $40m jackpot.

No fixed minimum increases

The increase in rollover amounts will be calculated from sales and interest rates with no fixed minimum amount. Previously the minimum increase for the Mega Millions rollover draws was $5m, and $10m for the Powerball. There will now be no set minimum increases.
The Mega Millions game rules were brought in by the Mega Millions Consortium, and went into effect on April 3. The draw on April 7 has an estimated jackpot of $127m.

“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 game rules for Powerball were introduced by the Multi-State Lottery Association and will go live on April 8. The draw on that date has an estimated jackpot of $190m.

Necessary changes

“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.”
Both games still keep their $2 ticket price, meaning players won’t be asked to pay more for their tickets as these changes take effect.

There has been no announcement if either draw will revert back to the previous rules once the threat of COVID-19 becomes more manageable.