Lottery rollovers happen when the jackpot is not won and is carried over to the next draw, increasing the top prize on offer. In some games, lottery rollovers can continue week after week for an indefinite period in order to create some massive jackpots. However, other lotteries put a cap on either the number of rollovers or the financial value of the jackpot.
Neither of the two major US multi-state lotteries, Mega Millions and Powerball, limit their rollovers and, as a result, have created the largest lottery prizes ever. Mega Millions takes the record for the biggest jackpot, sharing $656 million between three players in March 2012 after 18 rollovers. Powerball also hit the record books in May 2013 when Gloria MacKenzie of Florida snapped up $590.5 million, the result of 12 rollovers and the largest-ever win on a single ticket.
UK Lotto works differently, with rollovers restricted by a jackpot cap of £50 million. When the top prize reaches that amount, there can only be one more draw without a winner before the entire amount is rolled down and shared amongst the winners in the next prize tier.
Canada’s Lotto Max has a cap of CA$60 million on its lottery rollovers. Additional CA$1 million draws, called MAXMILLIONS, are held once the jackpot reaches CA$50 million. When the top prize hits CA$60 million, each additional CA$1 million from ticket sales that would have been added to the jackpot is used to fund another MAXMILLIONS draw.