If you’ve been hoping to cash in on a big Powerball jackpot soon, you might be in for a longer wait. That’s because even the mighty lottery isn’t immune to the COVID-10 virus. With the virus having a significant impact on daily life in America, and indeed around the world, officials at Powerball HQ have decided to make a few changes to how the game will operate from now on.
As of March 25, 2020, the jackpot will only increase by at least $2 million between draws should there not be a winner. Usually, the jackpot soars by $10 million per draw, which has seen the Powerball game build massive prizes if there aren’t any winners over a number of weeks.
What’s more, Powerball’s starting jackpot if someone does win, usually sits at $40 million, but the powers that be have decided it will now dip to $20 million.
According to the Powerball Product Group’s press release, the advertised jackpot amount has been dropped due to interest rates and game sales. Following this weekend’s draw (Saturday, 8 April), the guaranteed starting jackpot amount as well as the minimum jackpot increase are to be dropped. While the Product Group has said they will determine and announce the future jackpot increases prior to each draw, it will no longer be increased by that minimum amount of $10 million between draws.
The chairman of Powerball Product Group, Gregg Mineo has said that the changes are needed to make sure that ticket sales will be able to support the jackpot as well as other tier cash prizes. The group’s main priority, states Mineo, is to ensure that Powerball can continue to help lotteries raise proceeds for their various beneficiaries.
While the new changes were meant to come into effect after the latest jackpot is won, the Powerball Product Group decided that the advertised jackpot will now be determined by interest rates and game sales. This is all due to the way in which the COVID-19 pandemic is evolving.
Everyone is impacted by the pandemic, and as a result, spending habits have changed dramatically. Sure, there are those industries that are benefitting off the back of COVID-19, like medical and cleaning supplies, home furnishings and groceries.
But due to the government-ordered shutdowns around the world in terms of non-essential business, many people are being furloughed or dismissed, meaning less disposable income on the whole.
In the last few weeks, more cities and states have urged people to stay at home. Of course, this has had an effect on regular consumer behaviour, and that includes the sale of Powerball lottery tickets. What’s more, in the face of the public health crisis, interest rates have plummeted, and that means more game sales are needed if they’re to fund big jackpot amounts.
As a result, the Powerball jackpot changes are necessary to ensure the ticket sales can support the prizes the lottery game offers, and that it can still raise money for important causes.
In many places, the world over, consumers are following urges to remain at home or in one place due to the outbreak of the virus. Many retail stores, as a result, have shortened their operating hours or completely closed. However, you can still purchase your Powerball tickets online.
Last week, the Multi-State Lottery Association, the company that oversees the Powerball lottery on behalf of member lotteries, approved the new changes. While they were only meant to take effect once someone wins the current jackpot, it’s since been decided to implement the changes immediately.
As for ticket prices, Powerball tickets remain at $2 per play. Tickets are sold around the world and in 45 states in America. The draws are broadcast live every Wednesday and Saturday at 10:50 p.m. Eastern Time and are held in Florida Lottery’s studio in Tallahassee. More than half of the proceeds made from the sale of Powerball tickets remain in the state in which the tickets are sold.
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