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How Do Lottery Jackpots Work?

Lottery jackpots work a little bit differently depending on just which game you’re actually playing. Different games specifically have different rules, and different countries have different rules for how they run things, but in general, they follow a similar strategy for how the money builds up and how that money gets pooled out.

First, jackpots start with a set amount of money in them. This is the absolutely minimum that you can win and it resets every time someone wins. So, if you’re playing the Mega Millions or the Powerball US the lowest amount the jackpot can be is $40 million. If you’re playing the EuroJackpot the lowest it can be is €10 million.

Once the tickets are available to be purchased (there may be a brief period directly around the drawing time that tickets are not able to be sold) the amount of each ticket contributes towards the amount of the jackpot. Each ticket sold means that the jackpot is going to be a little more and a little more. That’s because the amount that you see is not necessarily the amount that you’ll actually win.

For example, in the United States, the $40 million that you see advertised on the sign is an estimate of the amount that the jackpot will be when the drawing happens. But for every ticket that’s sold that amount goes up a little bit more. By the time you actually win the jackpot, even in the very next drawing, it could be far higher than $40 million, depending on how many people purchased tickets.

From there, each time no one wins more tickets will be sold and the jackpot will continue to rise higher and higher Depending on which country you live in, this is where things change slightly. In the United States the jackpot will continue to rise until someone wins it. There is no limit to how large this jackpot can get and winners have gotten over $1 billion in the past.

In other countries, including the UK, jackpots can only grow to a set amount. Once the jackpot reaches that amount with no winner the money spills over into the next level, which means that there could be a winner of a large pot without matching every single one of the numbers the way it’s traditionally done.

When someone wins a jackpot they get the full jackpot prize minus any taxes that are charged by their home state, their country or just the rules of the game. Then the jackpot amount resets to the minimum and the numbers start to slowly build up yet again. Jackpots can be won at any time from the minimum on up, so the total jackpot may never reach the limit (if there is one). Someone would win long before it gets there.

Overall, jackpots in most countries work in similar ways, though with slight differences based on the country of origin. If you’re interested in playing some new games and getting a shot at new jackpots you can check out RedFoxLotto.com to find out more about how to play lottery games around the world.

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Last modified: November 14, 2019
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