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Powerball multi-state lottery game to change rules

PowerballPowerball: Powerball multi-state lottery game to change rules
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Changes to coincide with addition of Florida in January; Jackpots to start at $20 million

Powerball, arguably the world's best known jackpot lottery game, will be making changes to the game with the addition of Florida in January.

The multi-state game will add some white ball numbers and will remove some red ball numbers, to accomodate the increase in number of players once Florida joins the game.  If the number matrix is not changed, the jackpot would be hit too often, and it would not reach the levels that are important to the game's popularity.

The number of white balls will increase from 55 to 59 while the number of red balls will decrease from 42 to 39. The odds of winning the jackpot will be increased to one in 195.2 million while the overall odds of winning any prize will be dropped to one in 35.1.

"The net effect is that we are adding one more ball to the drums," said Ernie Passailaigue, the Powerball Group Chairman and the Executive Director of the South Carolina Lottery. "With the addition of Florida, Powerball has the chance to become even more exciting by keeping the jackpot levels up where players like to see them, but we also want to do some special things with the game. Even though many players focus on large Powerball jackpots, we still want to create lots of millionaires and we also want to create more winners with better overall odds."

Here are some of the key improvements planned for the game:

  1. The starting jackpot will increase from $15 million to $20 million, the world's largest starting lotto game jackpot.
  2. The average jackpot will increase from an expected average of $95.5 million to $141 million.
  3. The jackpot pool percentage is being increased from (30.3% to 32.5%) to make the jackpot grow faster and larger.
  4. The Match 5 prize with the Power Play option now has a guaranteed 5X multiplier, pushing the second prize to $1 million — to be paid in one lump sum cash payment.  (Power Play is only guaranteed to be 5X for the second prize tier; for all other prizes it continues to be a random number between 2X and 5X.)
  5. The overall odds of the game have been reduced to add more than 3 million extra prizes won per year.

"The price of a Powerball ticket remains unchanged at $1. Even though our players know that the cost of everything else has gone up since Powerball sales commenced over 16 years ago, we didn't want to raise Powerball's price in our current economy. Powerball players will continue to have the option to play the game for $1 or to play the game with enhanced prizes for $2 by using Power Play," said Passailaigue. "We wanted to give our players the power to choose and with many of our newer member lotteries, more than half of our players have chosen the benefits of the $2 Power Play option."

Powerball will continue to offer the Power Play option for an extra $1 per play, offering a random multiplier of 2X, 3X, 4X or 5X for all cash prizes won (except the Jackpot). However, in the new game, the Match 5 prize is guaranteed to always draw the 5X multiplier, turning the $200,000 cash prize into a $1 million cash prize.

The unique Match 5 BONUS option, which increases the Match 5 prize pool when the game reaches record jackpots, will also continue as a popular feature of the game.

"The Match 5 BONUS feature allows us to occasionally create a rolling Match 5 pool that should offer even more fun and greater prizes for our players," said Passailaigue.

This is the fifth redesign for the best-known multi-state jackpot game since it was created in 1992. The last change was in August 2005. Changes to the current game are expected to be in place by January 2009.

Powerball was launched in April 1992. The 32 lotteries offering the new game are: Arizona Lottery, Colorado Lottery, Connecticut Lottery Corporation, D.C. Lottery (District of Columbia), Delaware Lottery, Idaho Lottery, Hoosier Lottery (Indiana), Iowa Lottery, Kansas Lottery, Kentucky Lottery Corporation, Louisiana Lottery Corporation, Maine Lottery, Minnesota State Lottery, Missouri Lottery, Montana Lottery, Nebraska Lottery, New Hampshire Lottery Commission, New Mexico Lottery, North Carolina Education Lottery, North Dakota Lottery, Oklahoma Lottery, Oregon Lottery, Pennsylvania Lottery, Rhode Island Lottery, South Carolina Education Lottery, South Dakota Lottery, Tennessee Education Lottery, Virgin Islands Lottery, Vermont Lottery, Wisconsin Lottery, and West Virginia Lottery.  The Florida Lottery expects to begin selling the game in January, 2009.

A full list of starting dates for each individual jurisdiction, including start dates for Lotto America (the former name of Powerball) are available at USA Mega: http://www.usamega.com/powerball-wheretoplay.htm.

The multi-state web site USA Mega also includes an extensive FAQ section providing other important details of the Powerball (and Mega Millions) game.

Lottery Post Staff

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73 comments. Last comment 6 years ago by mymonthlypicks.
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DoctorEw220's avatar - alien helmet.jpg
Yinzer Country, PA
United States
Member #4067
March 18, 2004
2733 Posts
Offline
Posted: August 12, 2008, 11:01 pm - IP Logged

This is going to make the game very interesting, but at the same time, less profitable for the lotteries, especially since a match 5 winner with Power Play will automatically win $1 million.  I might actually take Power Play once this starts.

I've redone my website.  Go to www.dr-ew.com.  I kept a lot of the old stuff, and I've added some new stuff.  Look for more new stuff in the coming weeks.

    Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
    Zeta Reticuli Star System
    United States
    Member #30470
    January 17, 2006
    9027 Posts
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    Posted: August 12, 2008, 11:40 pm - IP Logged

    This:

    The number of white balls will increase from 55 to 59 while the numberof red balls will decrease from 42 to 39. The odds of winning thejackpot will be increased to one in 195.2 million while the overallodds of winning any prize will be dropped to one in 35.1.

    is insanity.

    Bang Head

    We have a friend who just couldn't wait for California to join Mega Millions. He bought all the news hype about potential $500,000,000 jackpots. So California joined in, the matrix expanded, and now the same guy is livid when someone from California wins the jackpot. Go figure!

    Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any.

    Lep

    There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.

      time*treat's avatar - radar

      United States
      Member #13130
      March 30, 2005
      2171 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: August 13, 2008, 12:02 am - IP Logged

      "If the number matrix is not changed, the jackpot would be hit too often" (but)

      "we still want to create lots of millionaires."

      Thinking of...

      In neo-conned Amerika, bank robs you.
      Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms should be the name of a convenience store, not a govnoment agency.

        Avatar

        United States
        Member #24439
        October 22, 2005
        638 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: August 13, 2008, 12:31 am - IP Logged

        This:

        The number of white balls will increase from 55 to 59 while the numberof red balls will decrease from 42 to 39. The odds of winning thejackpot will be increased to one in 195.2 million while the overallodds of winning any prize will be dropped to one in 35.1.

        is insanity.

        Bang Head

        We have a friend who just couldn't wait for California to join Mega Millions. He bought all the news hype about potential $500,000,000 jackpots. So California joined in, the matrix expanded, and now the same guy is livid when someone from California wins the jackpot. Go figure!

        They tell us what we want to hear.

        They tend to screw us like this when a new state is joinning. Meanwhile they are making the game more impossible.

        I don't buy that crap that if Florida joins, the jackpot would be won more often.

        It is the same crap, there would be more losers - which by the way is what we do more often.

          Avatar
          Urbandale, IA
          United States
          Member #8624
          November 11, 2004
          115 Posts
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          Posted: August 13, 2008, 12:39 am - IP Logged

          Arguably?

            Avatar
            Urbandale, IA
            United States
            Member #8624
            November 11, 2004
            115 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: August 13, 2008, 12:47 am - IP Logged

            They tell us what we want to hear.

            They tend to screw us like this when a new state is joinning. Meanwhile they are making the game more impossible.

            I don't buy that crap that if Florida joins, the jackpot would be won more often.

            It is the same crap, there would be more losers - which by the way is what we do more often.

            You don't get that, with FL, the jackpot would be won more often; that with more players, the jackpot would be won more often?  Really?

            With more population comes the opportunity to make the game better.  Bump the jackpot higher - yes with odds that are tougher, but these big games are really a question of fate before and before and before that.  Nearly everyone plays for the big jackpot, but the new game will create more millionaires.  A GUARANTEED 5X for the Match 5 Power Play.  What do you want?  A guaranteed 10X?  Tough, I know, but folks will just have to learn to be happy with a million in cash.  Also 3.5 million more winners at the same sales level (of course, more than that with FL playing).  Also, wait until the Match 5 BONUS starts kicking in more often.  The big dream is still there, but it is time to spread the wealth a little more.

              ThatScaryChick's avatar - AbnSTiA

              United States
              Member #56506
              November 21, 2007
              4618 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: August 13, 2008, 12:59 am - IP Logged

              Well, I am done with Powerball. Going up to 59 white balls??? Roll Eyes Insane. I guess my focus will be on Hot Lotto now.

              "No one remembers the person who almost climbed the mountain, only the person who eventually gets to the top."

                justxploring's avatar - villiarna
                Wandering Aimlessly
                United States
                Member #25360
                November 5, 2005
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                Posted: August 13, 2008, 1:32 am - IP Logged

                I agree it's insane, but it was at 1 in 147M.   I mean, how many times has anyone here won a pick-5 game with odds of 1 in 377k?   

                Can someone please tell me what the odds of getting the 5 balls will be?  Should be around 1 in 5.1M, right?  If that's the case, the MM game in FL has a lot better odds.  It's a 4 of 44 and 1 of 22 (MB) game. 

                Think PB is shooting itself in the foot.  When people can't even come close to winning the FL Lotto with odds of "only" 1 in 23M, I don't see how they can expect to win PB.  I think increasing the 5/5 prize is a good idea...but 59 numbers?  Yikes!  I just don't see this game being a big hit here in FL, but we can only wait & see.

                  guesser's avatar - Lottery-017.jpg

                  United States
                  Member #41383
                  June 16, 2006
                  1969 Posts
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                  Posted: August 13, 2008, 1:35 am - IP Logged

                  Well, I am done with Powerball. Going up to 59 white balls??? Roll Eyes Insane. I guess my focus will be on Hot Lotto now.

                  +1

                  Looks like the number of games I play per drawing will be about half of what they currently are.

                  But folks, you see: MOST folks that play the game do NOT know the true odds, so those types will continue to play it as they always have.

                  I will say I am going from $10 per drawing to $5, MAYBE to $3.

                  They are taking away 3 red balls - BIG DEAL - those number rarely hit now as it is. (just watch - NOW they will catch on fire)

                    Avatar

                    United States
                    Member #1826
                    July 11, 2003
                    2645 Posts
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                    Posted: August 13, 2008, 1:52 am - IP Logged

                    Did some calculations, and I've estimated that the lower tier payouts (save for the $1,000,000 match 5 w/PP) will remain the same, as well as the odds for each of the Powerplay numbers.

                    As for the jackpot odds, I think 1 in 200,000,000 is a bit too much, though I suppose it was inevitable, with or without Florida.

                    (insert signature here)

                      RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
                      mid-Ohio
                      United States
                      Member #9
                      March 24, 2001
                      17836 Posts
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                      Posted: August 13, 2008, 2:21 am - IP Logged

                      I agree it's insane, but it was at 1 in 147M.   I mean, how many times has anyone here won a pick-5 game with odds of 1 in 377k?   

                      Can someone please tell me what the odds of getting the 5 balls will be?  Should be around 1 in 5.1M, right?  If that's the case, the MM game in FL has a lot better odds.  It's a 4 of 44 and 1 of 22 (MB) game. 

                      Think PB is shooting itself in the foot.  When people can't even come close to winning the FL Lotto with odds of "only" 1 in 23M, I don't see how they can expect to win PB.  I think increasing the 5/5 prize is a good idea...but 59 numbers?  Yikes!  I just don't see this game being a big hit here in FL, but we can only wait & see.

                       MATCH    ODDS
                        5/5+B   1 : 195249054
                        5/5     1 : 5138133
                        4/5+B   1 : 723145
                        4/5     1 : 19030
                        3/5+B   1 : 13644
                        3/5     1 : 359
                        2/5+B   1 : 787
                        1/5+B   1 : 123
                        0/5+B   1 : 62
                       ___________________________
                       overall odds are 1 : 35.1

                      * you don't need more tickets, just the right ticket * 
                      * your best chance to win a lottery jackpot is to buy a ticket * 
                          Wink 

                        time*treat's avatar - radar

                        United States
                        Member #13130
                        March 30, 2005
                        2171 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: August 13, 2008, 2:31 am - IP Logged

                        +1

                        Looks like the number of games I play per drawing will be about half of what they currently are.

                        But folks, you see: MOST folks that play the game do NOT know the true odds, so those types will continue to play it as they always have.

                        I will say I am going from $10 per drawing to $5, MAYBE to $3.

                        They are taking away 3 red balls - BIG DEAL - those number rarely hit now as it is. (just watch - NOW they will catch on fire)

                        "But folks, you see: MOST folks that play the game do NOT know the true odds, so those types will continue to play it as they always have."

                        True. In fact, the more 'clever' players get fed up and quit the game, the better profits for the game.

                        The more people got good at 'card counting', the more decks were added.

                        In neo-conned Amerika, bank robs you.
                        Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms should be the name of a convenience store, not a govnoment agency.

                          savagegoose's avatar - ProfilePho
                          adelaide sa
                          Australia
                          Member #37136
                          April 11, 2006
                          2790 Posts
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                          Posted: August 13, 2008, 2:54 am - IP Logged

                          it says guranteed power play of 5x, does that mean you have to pay the $2 a game to get the guarnteed 5x?  seems an awful lot of

                          $1 extra fees to fund this generous bonus? but what everyone already plays the power play?

                          2014 winnings

                          JAN -$48.50;  FEB  -$77.5; MAR -$18.05;  APR -$96.05 MAY -$61.10; JUN $-85; JUL $-88.9;AUG -$144.10

                          yearly grand totalspent = 938.05won= 318.8-$619.25


                            justxploring's avatar - villiarna
                            Wandering Aimlessly
                            United States
                            Member #25360
                            November 5, 2005
                            4457 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: August 13, 2008, 4:21 am - IP Logged

                            it says guranteed power play of 5x, does that mean you have to pay the $2 a game to get the guarnteed 5x?  seems an awful lot of

                            $1 extra fees to fund this generous bonus? but what everyone already plays the power play?

                            Yes, but by doing this, they will probably market it as getting 2 games in one.  You are now paying $1 for a shot at the PB jackpot and another $1 for a shot at $1 million.   Otherwise, you will only get $200,000 if you get 5 numbers.  However, if the odds of getting the 5 numbers are 1 in 5.1M then they're not very good IMO but it's a way to generate more money. 

                            Any other comments on this?  I might be wrong, but the way I read it, $1 buys one PB ticket and a chance to win the lower prizes, but not with the powerplay.   $2 gets you one PB ticket with a chance to win a million if you get the 5 white balls.

                            Does Powerplay have any effect on the other prizes, like 4 of 5 or 3 of 5, etc.?  If so, will there still be a Powerplay spin for those prizes or will they also be multiplied by 5?

                            EDIT:  Just read the article again.  Got my answer.

                            (Power Play is only guaranteed to be 5X for the second prize tier; for all other prizes it continues to be a random number between 2X and 5X.)