Mega Millions to adjust starting jackpot amount, eliminate minimum increases

The Mega Millions Consortium announced today that in response to flagging sales due to the COVID-19 response, the multi-state lottery game’s starting jackpot has been lowered and the amounts of subsequent starting jackpots and jackpot increases will be determined on a drawing-by-drawing basis. 

The advertised Mega Millions jackpot for tonight’s drawing is a guaranteed $121 million. If the jackpot is won, it will reset to a guaranteed $20 million for the next drawing on Tuesday. If there is no jackpot winner tonight, the jackpot will roll to an annuitized value of $127 million.

Future starting jackpots and the rate at which the jackpot increases will be established based on game sales and interest rates, with no fixed minimum amount. Jackpot amounts will be determined and announced prior to each drawing.

Previously, the jackpot started at $40 million, and the minimum increase was $5 million for each roll. 

“The changes are in direct response to slowing sales during the current global pandemic,” said Bishop Woosley, director of the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery. “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,” he said. “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.” 

The Mega Millions Consortium’s announcement today followed a similar move by Powerball yesterday and last week.

Mega Millions’ tickets are $2 each and are sold in 45 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Drawings are held each Tuesday and Friday.

All Mega Millions drawings, including official drawing video, detailed breakdown of prizes, and exclusive Jackpot Analysis, are available at USA Mega (www.usamega.com), 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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