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Those Powerball changes


Last Edited: August 29, 2005, 9:28 am



They've added a couple of white balls to Powerball, says they, gonna get us a lot bigger jackpots because that's what people want.  What's the big deal about a couple of white balls?

There's not a big deal about a couple of white balls.

But there's also not a big deal about the substance of what they've done concerning larger jackpots.

The fact is that while Powerball hasn't necessarily created larger jackpots, they can sleep easy nights knowing they've created the illusion of larger jackpots.  Smoke and mirrors, blog readers, can be just as profitable as as the real thing where Powerball's concerned.

As you're aware, the size of the announced jackpot bears only coincidental relationship to the actual number of real US dollars availabe to be given away to jackpot winners.  50 odd percent under the old system, because they announce the annuity as the jackpot size, and the annuity is merely a projection of income in interest earned from their investment of the exact amount of the lump sum payment at low interest for a given time.

So if Powerball wants to announce higher jackpots, all they have to do it lengthen the time they control the lump sum to let it grow longer, and Voil'a, jackpots skyrocket without a penny more in dollars actually available to a lump sum winner.

Cute.  You couldn't get by with such a shell game.  Neither could I.  But when you and I do smoke and mirrors scams involving get-rich-quick schemes the authorities have a name for it. 


But we're so used to those kinds of behaviors, on an admittedly smaller scale, from Powerball and Mega Millions that we'll all just raise our heads and gaze a moment, then go back to grazing.

It honestly isn't a big deal.  Some small actual increases might happen in the lump sum amounts, which is all that matters.  My thought is the two higher white balls will actually be an improvement, because they've increased the second tier prizes and will pay for them in real non-illusory dollars.

I don't mind the change, one way or another on the main PB context.  It might translate to an improvement for most players, overall.  But I do appreciate it when a con-artist shouts from the rooftops what he is, exposes himself to the public in such a benign way. 


I interprete it as a a preview of coming attractions.  But when a car salesman begins his spiel with, "Now, I'm not precisely a liar and a thief.  But you can't believe a word I tell you unless you examine every word through a microscope.  Here, let me tell you about this car over here.  Then I've got a REALLY nice one to show you."

It's difficult to find fault with that.

I do regret what they've done with the multiplier, Powerplay.  I think they've made a mistake, even from their own perspective.  That one was a big money maker and a seriously lousy option for any player who wasn't a fairly consistent winner.  I suppose they just think if people are stupid enough to buy Powerplay with the multiplier almost always 5X, they'll still be stupid enough to buy it with the chances being roughly equal between 5X and 2X.  And it will keep them from having to give away so much money on those rare occasions when players hit anything the multiplier pays for.

In my case, they'll be correct, though less frequently and fewer times.  Unless I'm AWFULLY certain of my numbers I'm not going to pay a dollar for a possibility for a 2X multiplier on a dollar ticket.

All in all, however, I'm fairly pleased with the changes.  I do like those two new white balls in the mix, I can live without Powerplay, and the rest is merely Powerball officials taking this opportunity to announce to the world that they can't be trusted.

A win/win situation any way you cut it.







Entry #226


MooshieComment by Mooshie - September 17, 2005, 12:08 pm
Have you noticed that, exactly since the addition of the two white balls, the Powerball lump sum has decreased? It used to run between 53% and 57% of the estimated prize; now it's consistently right around 50% to 51%. True, the estimated jackpot has increased slightly, but the lump sum has actually gone down. Example: In the game prior to the one that's currently rolling over, by the time we hit the 11th drawing (the 10th rollover), the jackpot was 84.2m and the lump sum was 47.2m (56.06%). In this current game, the 11th drawing (10th rollover) stands at an estimated 92m jackpot with a lump sum of 46.5m (50.54%). The lump sum has actually decreased by $500k in comparison to the same rollover for the previous game. Thoughts?
Comment by Rip Snorter - September 17, 2005, 12:38 pm
Interesting observation. I hope you'll start a thread with that one. It's too good to be buried down here in weeks-old blog entries.

In retrospect it seems it was predictable. Got a smile out of me.

Thanks for the comment.

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