On April 2, 2020, the Powerball Product Group and the Multi-State Association announced that some temporary changes of rules for Powerball lottery will soon come into place. What do these changes consist of? First of all, the starting jackpot of the American lottery will be calculated based on ticket sales estimations, with no minimum amount guaranteed. Then, there will be no minimum increase for rollover draw. The US Powerball starting jackpot was previously of $40 million while rollover jumps were of $10 million. On March 25th, the starting jackpot was reduced to $20 million and the minimum draw increase to $2 million, but the Powerball officials re-adjusted the rules on April 2.
Everyone knows it: we are living extraordinary times due to the coronavirus outbreak. Everyone feels it: our lives have changed dramatically in the last few weeks. These changes are influencing not only our individual lives, but also the world economy as a whole. Many companies were forced to cease activity and let employees go. Sales have dropped in certain sectors and surged in others. As many countries around the world are under lock-down, consumers’ behavior had to adapt to the current circumstances and new needs.
In the US as well, citizens of many states are under restrictions of leaving their houses. All this affects the lotteries as well. Some offices are closed, while others are operating with reduced schedule.
While lottery ticket sales dropped drastically, a lot of good causes need help in the United States – even more so now than before. The revenue resulting from Powerball tickets sales was and is offering just that in all 48 US Powerball jurisdictions. Therefore, these changes ensure that the Powerball can continue offering its usual draws while continuing to contribute to good causes just like it did until now.
On December 18, 2019, over 15 million Powerball tickets were sold generating a revenue of $30,869,152, while the jackpot amounted to $150 million. The March 25, 2020 draw displayed the same jackpot, but had a much lower record of tickets sale amounting to only $21,695,328. It sold no more than 10 million tickets.
In the words of Gregory Mineo, Powerball Product Group Chairman and Maine Lottery Director:
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. (March 25)
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. (April 2)
We don’t know how long these new measures will be in place for as no decision has been taken on that matter yet. We will let you know when new changes appear.
FAQs of the Powerball changes due to the corona virus pandemic
Is the Powerball still offering draws during the pandemic?
Yes, the US Powerball will still hold its regular draws, but few changes were made on the jackpot.
At how much will the jackpot start?
The starting jackpot will be calculated by the Powerball officials based on ticket sales estimations and announced before each draw.
How much is added to the jackpot after a rollover?
There is no minimum increase after rollover. Previously the minimum amount was of at least $10 million.
Since when are those changes?
These changes were announced on April 2, 2020 and they will come into effect starting the draw of April 8.
How long will these new measures be in place for?
We do not know yet for how long these new measures will be in place for as no decision was taken in that direction, for the moment.