A couple weeks ago, I wrote about what would happen to the money in the Hot Lotto jackpot pool if the grand prize was not won by the time the game ended. And as it has turned out, the Hot Lotto jackpot indeed was not won before or during the game’s final drawing on Saturday.
The big prize that night was $12.16 million and no one won the jackpot by matching all six of the winning numbers in the final Hot Lotto drawing. So the money in the jackpot pool will roll forward into the Lotto America game that begins sales in less than two weeks on Sunday, Nov. 12.
The jackpot in Lotto America normally will start at $2 million and grow until someone wins it. But with the Hot Lotto jackpot money carrying forward, the jackpot in the first Lotto America drawing on Wednesday, Nov. 15, will be $15 million annuity. (The cash value of that first jackpot will be set just before the drawing occurs. Fluctuating interest rates prevent the lump-sum value from being set very far in advance.)
The situation involving the Hot Lotto jackpot and what would happen to the money has brought up a lot of discussion, and we’ve been glad to be part of it. We know that not everyone will be happy with the decision to roll the money from the jackpot pool into the new game. But the majority of folks seem to like that idea more than some others that were discussed, such as returning the money from the Hot Lotto jackpot to the states in the game, and allowing each state to then follow its rules and procedures for what would happen to the money.
With the extensive programming that it takes for lottery systems to offer a new product, the Lotto America game will move ahead as I have described here. The jackpot in that game will follow the traditional annuity or lump-sum model, and jackpot winners will be able to choose which option they want to take. We’re glad that players will have the chance to continue to play for the money in the Hot Lotto jackpot pool.
Below is an image showing the prizes that will be available in the Lotto America game and the odds of winning. Please note that the odds of winning the jackpot in Lotto America (1 in 25.9 million) will be better than those in Hot Lotto, where the odds of winning the top prize were 1 in 29.14 million.