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Why Would Lower Jackpots Surpass Higher Ones?

Lightning Link progressives
Written by Joshua

In a slot community of which I am a part, a question recently came up around progressive jackpots. The poster had noted that a minor jackpot had ultimately risen above a major one, and was wondering why that may be the case.

On a game like Dancing Drums, where the gap between minor and major is significant, it’s virtually impossible for this to happen. However, the mini could theoretically get above the minor in size.

On other games, such as Smokin’ Hot Stuff Wicked Wheel, the three lowest progressives are close enough that it could happen that a lower progressive surpasses one higher up on the ladder.

So why would this happen? Well, for one, progressives increment at different levels. The highest progressive usually doesn’t increment as fast as a lower one. The main reason for this is lower progressives are hit more often, and don’t require as much coin-in to replenish its starting point.

For example, a mini on a penny Dancing Drums will start at $10, but the Grand starts at $10,000. Presuming a similar percentage of the bet goes to each progressive, the Grand will need 1000x the coin-in to even pay for the starting point than the Mini. But the progressive is incrementing through all that coin-in in the meantime so the math is calculated around how often it is expected to hit and so forth to determine the increment.

Given the Grand isn’t hit as often, it’s likely that the lower progressives get a higher percentage of the coin-in to replenish those often hit starting amounts.

But even if they get the same amount of coin-in attributed to each, if the Minor happens to get hit while the Mini hasn’t been hit for awhile, it could simply be the case the Mini has simply had time to build up past the Minor. I’ve seen a $50 Mini and a $40 Minor on Dancing Drums when both haven’t been hit in awhile.

Another example of when this can happen is when some jackpots are flat, based on denomination, while others are based on a universal formula. Lightning Link and Dragon Link are like this; if you’re playing $1 denomination the Minor will be bigger than the Major, which caps at $1,000.

Dollar Storm has attempted to address this by having a different Major level for high denominations, so you don’t have those weird scenarios occurring, but since other games have a similar jackpot structure to Lightning Link, it can happen on occasion.

So there are various reasons why progressives can be out of sorts, but it’s all part of the game’s design.

About the author


My name is Joshua, and I’m a slot enthusiast who works in tech as a marketer by day, and dabbles in casinos periodically during off-times. Know Your Slots will reflect my interests in understanding the various ways you can play slots, travel, casino promotions and how you can get the most out of your casino visits.

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