Have you ever watched the jackpot for a lottery game day after day and watched the number steadily rise? Even when it’s not a drawing day those numbers just keep going up and up. Well, there’s actually a simple reason for why those jackpots keep going up. People are buying tickets!
When someone wins the jackpot on any game the winning ‘pot’ will reset back to whatever the minimum is. In the EuroJackpot this is €10 million. In the Powerball and Mega Millions this is $40 million. In other countries the minimum jackpot may be entirely different. But, in essence, the jackpot resets back to the baseline. This is the absolute minimum that someone will win if they win the jackpot on the very first drawing after a win.
From there, people will purchase tickets. After all, everyone wants to have a shot at that jackpot, even if it is small. As they purchase tickets, a portion of the purchase price is put into the jackpot (in the United States another portion is put towards an education fund). There is also the factor of taxes on lottery winnings. The more tickets that people purchase the more the jackpot is going to go up because every ticket that they buy contributes more to that jackpot.
When the drawing occurs there may be a winner, in which case the jackpot would reset again. If there’s not, then the money just continues to build as more and more people choose to purchase tickets. Of course, the higher the jackpot gets the more people are going to be interested. The more people that are interested the more tickets are going to be sold and that means that the jackpot is going to continue to get bigger.
In general, the jackpot on any big lottery is going to operate just like a never-ending cycle. As the jackpot gets bigger, more people buy tickets. As more people buy tickets the jackpot gets bigger. And that continues to happen until the jackpot in question is either won or hits a specified limit from the organization that’s running the lottery.
In the United States the jackpot will just continue on and on until someone wins. In the UK the jackpot will continue on until it gets to €190 million and then the prize pool will roll over to the lower level prize. In other countries the rules are slightly different and you may have different ways of winning a jackpot prize or different limits to just how high that jackpot can actually climb. In general, however, the jackpots will just keep rising.
If people stopped purchasing tickets for a game then the jackpot wouldn’t rise. If, for example, the Mega Millions reset to $40 million and no one purchased a ticket then the next drawing would have the Mega Millions at the same number again. But of course, the lottery commission never has to worry about people not buying a ticket. Everyone seems to want a piece of that money and they’re willing to buy a ticket to see if they can get a chance at it. And nowadays, you can even play lotto online across national borders.
Hopefully this has answered some of your questions about just why do lotto jackpots keep growing. It’s all about people purchasing tickets and hoping to win for themselves. After all, you never know what’s going to be the next big prize or the next winner of that prize. It absolutely could be you.