Powerball reduces jackpot amounts as coronavirus sales decline

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Even the lottery is experiencing a financial crisis amid the coronavirus pandemic.

There will no longer be a guaranteed starting Powerball jackpot amount or a minimum jackpot increase between draws, the Powerball product group announced on Thursday.

Gregg Mineo, group president and director of Maine Lottery, said the changes were necessary to ensure that ticket sales can continue to cover the jackpot and lower cash prizes.

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“Our number one priority is to ensure that the Powerball game can continue to help lotteries increase the earnings of their beneficiaries,” said Mineo in a press release.

The Powerball jackpot normally starts at $ 40 million after a win and increases by at least $ 10 million between draws. As of April 8, the jackpot will instead start at $ 20 million and increase by at least $ 2 million, the group said.

Lottery officials said the changes were planned after the current jackpot was won, but have decided to move on to next week due to the coronavirus pandemic.

On this March 25, 2020, archive photo, a closed panel is hung in the window of a store in Portsmouth, N.H. (AP Photo / Charles Krupa, File)

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“Since last week, more states and cities have asked residents to stay at home, which has affected normal consumer behavior and sales of Powerball games,” said Mineo. “In response to the public health crisis, interest rates have gone down. As a result, additional game sales are required to fund comparable jackpot amounts. “

Powerball winning numbers are drawn on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The jackpot for Saturday’s draw is $ 180 million, and officials have said it would go to at least $ 190 for next Wednesday if there were no jackpot winner. If there is a winner on Saturday, Wednesday’s jackpot will be reset to $ 20 million.

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