Michigan Lottery Jackpots on the Rise: What’s Behind the Growth?
You've probably noticed that in recent years, lottery jackpots tend to swell to astronomical sizes, sometimes nearing or even topping the $1 billion mark. But why?
In February 2021, a winning Mega Millions ticket worth $1 billion was sold at a Kroger store in Novi, Michigan. That jackpot was claimed by the Wolverine FLL Lottery Club.
A Pattern of Big Jackpots
The Powerball jackpot for this Saturday (9/23) has reached $725 million. In July of this year, the jackpot hit $1.08 billion, with just one ticket sold in California matching all six numbers.
And it's not just the Powerball. Last month, the Mega Millions jackpot reached nearly $1.6 billion, with one player in Florida matching all six balls. And in recent weeks, a California man has been making headlines after using his historic $2.04 Powerball winnings to splurge on two multi-million dollar homes.
Not Limited to Michigan
In addition to Michigan, many other states also participate in the Mega Millions and Powerball drawings. The Powerball is played in 45 states, Washington, DC, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. The same is true for the Mega Millions with the exception of Puerto Rico.
Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada, Utah, and Alabama do not participate in either Mega Millions or Powerball.
Why Are Jackpots Getting So Big?
There are a couple of simple reasons why both multi-state drawings have seen so many giant jackpots in recent years.
The Powerball increased its pool of white balls in 2015 from 59 to 69 and shrank the pool of red balls from 35 to 26. According to Nerd Wallet, this gives players a better chance to small prizes while shrinking the odds of winning a large jackpot from about one in 175 million to about one in 292 million.
Then, when no one wins the jackpot, it grows.
As for the Mega Millions, a change was made in 2017 that raised ticket prices from $1 to $2. This means more money is funneled back into the jackpots, causing them to grow faster.
Nerd Wallet also reports that rising interest rates contribute to larger jackpots. "Advertised amounts are actually based on annuities or how much money you'd make from the jackpot over a given period."
Finally, bigger jackpots lead to more ticket purchases. Some people only play these multi-state games when the jackpots become huge - and when jackpots near or cross the $1 billion mark, more hype is created.