Maryland’s Mega Millions ticket sales have been declining since a $1.5bn jackpot was hit two years ago, falling 40% in the following 12 months according to Gordon Medenica, Lead Director of the Mega Millions Consortium and Director of Maryland Lottery and Gaming, via Fox Business.

Medenica said: “Sales are down another 10% this year, which we attribute to general ‘jackpot fatigue’. Importantly, ‘media fatigue’ is also a factor, as the games don’t receive the publicity and general media coverage they once did.”

Since October 2018, when the game saw nearly $2bn in monthly sales, sales have not surpassed $409m and were at $197m in September.

A Powerball Product Group spokesperson said they are still 20% below pre-pandemic levels even though sales this year have rebounded from March.

Not only are overall jackpots now lower due to declining sales, but prize pots are smaller too due to recent changes made to minimum starting amounts.

During the coronavirus pandemic, it was announced by both Powerball and Mega Millions that they would no longer reset to a minimum prize pool amount after a jackpot. Instead, amounts would be based on game sales and interest rates. Minimum increases between drawings where there is no winner were scrapped by both companies as well.

Those changes were made to ensure that games sales would be enough to support jackpot sizes and lower cash prize amounts.

Game officials said: “Many states and cities have asked their residents to stay at home, which has affected normal consumer behaviors and the reduced sales of both games. In response to the public health crisis, interest rates have been reduced. As a result, more sales are necessary to fund comparable jackpot amounts.”

Medenica added the Mega Million Consortium is reviewing the effects of changes made to the minimum during the pandemic.