Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) -The ongoing coronavirus pandemic is also having an impact on lotteries.  

The organization that operates the Powerball lottery game has announced guaranteed starting jackpot amounts and minimum increases will be eliminated. Future increases will be announced prior to each drawing. The change takes effect after the April 8th drawing and will remain until further notice. Future jackpots will be determined by game sales and interest rates. Previously, the game’s jackpots started at $40 million and increased by a minimum of $10 million between drawings.

“These changes are necessary to ensure that ticket sales can support the Powerball jackpot and other lower-tier cash prizes,” said Gregg Mineo, Powerball Product Group Chairman. “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,” said Mineo. “In response to the public health crisis, interest rates have declined. As a result, additional game sales are necessary to fund comparable jackpot amounts.”

The same story is being told by the Mega Millions Consortium. It has also been forced to adjust that game’s starting jackpot and will determine the amounts of subsequent starting jackpots and increases on a drawing-by-drawing basis. Previously, the Mega Millions jackpot started at $40 million, and the minimum increase was $5 million for each roll.

The current Mega Millions jackpot is $136-million and will be up for grabs Friday. The Powerball jackpot is on the line Wednesday evening and is worth $190-million.

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