According to a recent statement issued by the Mega Millions Consortium, the lottery officials that oversee the multi-state Mega Millions game, the game’s starting jackpot prize and the minimum jackpot increase will be cut. Under the new game rules, Mega Millions game jackpots will now be calculated on a drawing by drawing basis. That will be based on game ticket sales and current interest rates. So, no more fixed minimum roll increments.
Traditionally, in the drawing following a hit, Mega Millions would default to a starting jackpot worth $40 million. The jackpot would continue to grow by at least $5 million-plus ticket sales in every roll.
To me, cutting the Mega Millions starting jackpot by half is a necessary evil. It’s the best way to guarantee there is enough cash to cover both the jackpot and lower-level game prize winnings.
This especially amidst low ticket sales projections and a lengthy global recession forecast. All of which are caused by the current global pandemic, known as COVID-19.
The advertised Mega Millions jackpot for Wednesday, April 8, 2020, is a guaranteed annuitized $127 million with a cash opinion worth $103.0 million. So, if there is no jackpot winner come Wednesday evening, the jackpot will roll as usual.
But if the jackpot is hit on Wednesday, the new rules will take effect. Thus resetting to the new guaranteed annuitized $20 million for Friday’s drawing. And all subsequent jackpot increases will be established based on game sales and interest rates.
“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.
“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.”
Mega Millions drawings take place at the WSB-TV in Atlanta, Georgia every Tuesday and Friday at 11:00 p.m. Players may purchase Mega Millions tickets online at MichiganLottery.com or in-store from any one of Mi_Lottery’s 10,500 retailers statewide until 10:45 p.m. on the day of the drawing.
Mega Millions play still costs $2 and for an additional $1 per play, players can add a “Megaplier”, a feature which can multiply non-jackpot prizes by up to five times.