Mega Millions to Adjust Starting Jackpot Amount, Eliminate Minimum Jackpot Increases

04/03/2020 - The Mega Millions Consortium has adjusted the game’s starting jackpot and will determine the amounts of subsequent starting jackpots and jackpot increases on a drawing-by-drawing basis.  The changes are in direct response to slowing sales during the current global pandemic.

The advertised Mega Millions jackpot for Friday, April 3, is a guaranteed $121 million. If the jackpot is won that evening, it will reset to a guaranteed $20 million for the next drawing on April 7. If there is no jackpot winner on April 3, the jackpot will roll to an annuitized value of $127 million. Immediately following the drawing on April 3, the next new starting jackpot and the rate at which the jackpot increases will be established based on game sales and interest rates, with no fixed minimum amount. Subsequent jackpot amounts will be determined and announced prior to each drawing. Previously, the jackpot started at $40 million, and the minimum increase was $5 million for each roll.

“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 tickets are $2 and are sold in 45 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Drawings are held each Tuesday and Friday. Half of the proceeds from the sale of each Mega Millions ticket remains in the state where the ticket was sold, where the money supports lottery beneficiaries and retailer commissions. Lottery revenues are allocated differently in each jurisdiction.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is changing?

After the next Mega Millions jackpot is won, the jackpot will reset to an annuitized value of $20 million rather than $40 million. Subsequent starting jackpot amounts will be determined and announced prior to the drawings. There will be no minimum amount for jackpot increases for each roll. Previously, the minimum roll increase was $5 million.

When will these changes take place?

The changes take effect after the Friday, April 3, Mega Millions drawing. If there is no jackpot winner in that drawing, the jackpot for the Tuesday, April 7, drawing will be $127 million. If a jackpot-winning ticket is sold for the April 3 drawing, the jackpot for April 7 will reset to $20 million.  

Why is the change happening?

Many states that sell Mega Millions tickets are currently under stay-at-home recommendations or orders from their governors, which have altered the typical sales patterns of many products, including lottery tickets. The jackpot amount is based on sales and interest rates, and the adjustments will help to ensure that states and jurisdictions can continue to generate much-needed revenue to support their good causes.

Will we know exactly what the jackpot is prior to every drawing?

Advertised jackpot values are estimates, based on projected sales. Differences between the advertised estimates and final amounts may occur because a substantial percentage of sales happen on the drawing dates.

Are these changes permanent?

Mega Millions is operated by a consortium of 10 state lottery directors who will determine how long the changes stay in place. The Nebraska Lottery is not part of the Mega Millions Consortium, but offers the game under a licensing arrangement.

Published on 04/03/2020