Not even the Powerball is safe from the coronavirus. With sales seeing a sharp decline, the Powerball Product Group, which is a national association made of lottery directors, announced that jackpots will be determined using a whole new system.
The changes will go into effect after Wednesday’s drawing. The new rules not only affect the starting jackpot amount but also the jackpot increases when there is no jackpot winner.
New Powerball Jackpot Rules
Regardless of whether someone wins the Powerball jackpot on Wednesday, the new rules will go into effect. The changes were initially supposed to go into effect once the jackpot reset; however, The Powerball Group revised the timeline to include the current jackpot beginning after Wednesday’s drawing. Previously, had someone won, the next Jackpot starting amount would be set at $40 million. When someone wins the current jackpot, the starting amount will be based on actual ticket sales.
If no one wins the jackpot, instead of an automatic increase for the next drawing, the increase in the jackpot will also be based on ticket sales and interest rates. Gregg Mineo, the Powerball Product Group Chairman stated, “These changes are necessary to ensure that ticket sales can support the Powerball jackpot and lower-tier cash prizes.”
He also added that “Our number one priority is making sure that the Powerball game can continue to assist lotteries in raising proceeds for their beneficiaries.”
Powerball tickets are $2 each and are sold in 45 states as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Drawings are held each Wednesday and Saturday at 10:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. More than one-half of all proceeds from ticket sales are distributed in the jurisdiction where a winning ticket is sold.
Wednesday Night’s Drawing
Since the new rules go into effect after Wednesday’s drawing, it could be your last chance to win a larger jackpot. The jackpot for Wednesday, April 8th, is currently $190 million. If no one wins, it will still increase based on ticket sales instead of the standard $10 million and will continue to after each drawing until someone matches all five numbers in addition to the Powerball number.
The cash value of the $190 million jackpot is $156 million. With the changes, the next jackpot winner could be the last big winner until the virus is under control. Once the world gets back to business and folks are buying tickets again, the old rules are expected to go back into effect.