Welcome Guest
Log In | Register )
You last visited December 8, 2016, 10:44 pm
All times shown are
Eastern Time (GMT-5:00)

Too many players winning Powerball, lottery says

PowerballPowerball: Too many players winning Powerball, lottery says

The agency running the Powerball lottery might decrease the odds of winning the multimillion-dollar jackpot to stem a record-setting run of winners that is keeping jackpots small and, the agency says, causing ticket sales to plunge.

"To some extent, you try to ride it out. But I think we'll need to make some changes to the game pretty soon," said Chuck Strutt, executive director of the Urbandale, Iowa-based Multi-State Lottery Association, which runs the game. "We'll lose more than $400 million in sales this year."

Powerball is not available in Illinois, but tickets are sold in Indiana and Wisconsin. Outlets in 27 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands sold $2.3 billion in tickets in fiscal 2003-04, but are projected to sell $1.8 billion to $1.9 billion for the fiscal year that will end June 30, Strutt said.

Strutt said Powerball sales really pick up steam once the jackpot hits $100 million.

But is there really a problem?

Powerball had eight jackpots of $100 million or more from November 1997 until October 2002 and eight in the nearly 2-1/2 years since. That's when the Multi-State Lottery Association bumped the odds of winning the jackpot from one in 80 million to one in 121 million by increasing the number of balls used in the drawing.

Gail Howard, a lottery expert from Las Vegas, said higher jackpots may not be the answer.

''The people, they're getting used to having these $200 million, $300 million jackpots,'' Howard said. ''Pretty soon it will take a half-billion-dollar jackpot to get even a welfare recipient out of the house to buy a ticket.''

Strutt didn't say how the game might be tweaked.

There have been 12 Powerball winners so far this fiscal year, which ends June 30 -- including six in 2005 alone. That puts Powerball on pace for a record 17 winners this fiscal year, Strutt said.

Since the game's odds were raised in 2002, there haven't been more than 12 winners in a year.

One expert says changing the game might be unnecessary.

''The expectation that they'll wind up with 17 winners this year because they've got 12 so far assumes that the process is linear and it's not. It's random,'' said Bruce McCullough, an associate professor at Drexel University. ''This could be the year they'll have 20 winners -- and there's nothing they should do about it. It's entirely possible they would be changing to fix a problem that doesn't exist.''

Powerball odds over the years

Powerball lottery odds and methods of payment have changed over the years since the Multi-State Lottery Association began running the game in 1996.

1996-November 1997:

Players had to pick five numbers out of 45 numbers correctly, plus one number out of a separate batch of 45 Powerballs to win the jackpot.

Jackpot odds: 1 in 54.9 million.

Payment: An annuity payable over 20 years.

November 1997-October 2002:

Players had to match five numbers out of 49, plus one out of 42 Powerballs.

Jackpot odds: 1 in 80.1 million.

Payment: The choice of an annuity for the jackpot amount payable over 25 years or the current cash value of the annuity.

October 2002-present:

Players have to match 5 of 53 numbers, plus one out of 42 Powerballs.

Jackpot odds: 1 in 120.5 million.

Payment: A 30-year annuity or current cash value of annuity.

AP

We'd love to see your comments here!  Register for a FREE membership — it takes just a few moments — and you'll be able to post comments here and on any of our forums. If you're already a member, you can Log In to post a comment.

18 comments. Last comment 12 years ago by gvpazkn.
Page 1 of 2

United States
Member #379
June 5, 2002
11296 Posts
Offline
Posted: March 22, 2005, 9:38 am - IP Logged

PB began in 1992, not 1996, when the Big Game started.

    Avatar

    United States
    Member #972
    December 30, 2002
    465 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: March 22, 2005, 10:40 am - IP Logged

    >One expert says changing the game might be unnecessary. ''The expectation that they'll wind up with 17 winners this year because they've got 12 so far assumes that the process is linear and it's not. It's random,'' said Bruce McCullough, an associate professor at Drexel University. ''This could be the year they'll have 20 winners -- and there's nothing they should do about it. It's entirely possible they would be changing to fix a problem that doesn't exist.''

    I agree with this. Powerball's Stutt does not give the information needed to make a rational comparison between the time when jackpots weren't being hit and now when they are supposedly being hit too often. He needs to disclose the number of tickets sold and number & percentage of combinations covered for each drawing in the sequence after a jackpot was hit. If the numbers for the first 5 drawings after a jackpot was hit are about the same then vs. now, then it would be just chance they've been hit more lately. 

    They can say "Screw the math, there's too many winners, not enough profits, welfare mothers tuning out, $10 million looks so boring on the billboards, we're gonna change it anyway".  But they have to admit they are changing it on a run of luck that could (and will) go the other way. Over time there will be $200 million jackpots again as the odds correct the imbalance, but greed doesn't wait for odds to correct over time.   


      United States
      Member #379
      June 5, 2002
      11296 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: March 22, 2005, 11:47 am - IP Logged

      If Mega Millions is making the jackpot even harder to hit soon, PB needs to do the same.

        Avatar

        United States
        Member #972
        December 30, 2002
        465 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: March 22, 2005, 12:24 pm - IP Logged

        How does that follow? Any MM change would be because CA & TX have been added.

        Quote: Originally posted by CASH Only on March 22, 2005







        If Mega Millions is making the jackpot even harder to hit soon, PB needs to do the same.






          Avatar
          Morrison, IL
          United States
          Member #4657
          May 13, 2004
          1884 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: March 22, 2005, 1:20 pm - IP Logged

            Yeah, but if Mega Millions changes the odds, they'll have higher jackpots and even less people will play Powerball.  I myself have played Powerball only once since the beginning of the year because Mega Millions and even the Illinois Lotto have had larger jackpots.

            Maverick's avatar - yinyang
            USA
            United States
            Member #8242
            October 29, 2004
            1133 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: March 22, 2005, 6:45 pm - IP Logged

            ''The expectation that they'll wind up with 17 winners this year because they've got 12 so far assumes that the process is linear and it's not. It's random,'' said Bruce McCullough, an associate professor at Drexel University. ''This could be the year they'll have 20 winners -- and there's nothing they should do about it. It's entirely possible they would be changing to fix a problem that doesn't exist.''

            I agree.

            Simple answer. Boycott PB and MM. Play your states lottery (especially when the jackpot is higher). The jackpot will satiate you... unless you're that greedy.

              Avatar
              Morrison, IL
              United States
              Member #4657
              May 13, 2004
              1884 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: March 22, 2005, 10:49 pm - IP Logged

                Many states with Powerball aren't large enough to have their own rolling jackpot games, and the few that do rarely, if ever, see a jackpot at $10 million from their own games. Heck, most of those in-state lotto games don't even see a $5 million jackpot.

                dvdiva's avatar - 8ball

                United States
                Member #2338
                September 17, 2003
                2063 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: March 23, 2005, 1:05 am - IP Logged

                Well changing hot lotto to a 6/49 format would fix that.

                Powerball has been adding states but doing nothing to address that. They also need to change the current lame rules regarding record jackpots. If they want to keep their current game it would only tick off the current member states as they look at the falling sales. I just wonder if they have had any meetings with the current states about the status of the game and any possible changes.


                  United States
                  Member #379
                  June 5, 2002
                  11296 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: March 23, 2005, 9:46 am - IP Logged

                  Mega Millions and PB are much better than NY Lotto 6/59 (terrible lower-tier prizes) and Mass Megais bad$ (still annuity-only).

                    Avatar

                    United States
                    Member #972
                    December 30, 2002
                    465 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: March 23, 2005, 2:12 pm - IP Logged

                    >They also need to change the current lame rules regarding record jackpots.

                    What are the lame rules?

                      weshar75's avatar - Lottery-042.jpg
                      Mcminnville, Oregon
                      United States
                      Member #3013
                      December 13, 2003
                      3052 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: March 23, 2005, 2:34 pm - IP Logged
                      Quote: Originally posted by tg636 on March 23, 2005



                      >They also need to change the current lame rules regarding record jackpots.

                      What are the lame rules?




                      The lame rule is the match 5 bonus rule that once the jackpot hits the record it goes up in 25 million increments and the rest is used to be divided in amongst the 5+0 winners.  So instead of 100 grand you will get like 500 grand or 1 million.  It acts like a cap on the jackpot and it is a stupid idea because I like the biggest jackpots as possible to play for. 
                        RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
                        mid-Ohio
                        United States
                        Member #9
                        March 24, 2001
                        19830 Posts
                        Online
                        Posted: March 23, 2005, 3:00 pm - IP Logged
                        Quote: Originally posted by golotto on March 23, 2005


                        A random game like Powerball, with it's current matrix, might begin a record setting jackpot run at any time. 



                        States and casinos that make their money off gambling don't like the word might, they want a steady flow of predictable income and they'll change the rules to make that happens.

                        RJOh

                         * you don't need to buy more tickets, just buy a winning ticket * 
                           
                                     Evil Looking       

                          Avatar
                          Wisconsin
                          United States
                          Member #1610
                          June 3, 2003
                          668 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: March 23, 2005, 3:02 pm - IP Logged

                          I agree with prof McCullough. We might have 20 jackpot wins this year. Yet, changing the matrix might not be necessary. A random game like Powerball, with it's current matrix, might begin a record setting jackpot run at any time. Conversely, it might have a series of frequent jackpot hits as we have recently been experiencing. It's all random and this summer we might also be discussing the Powerball record breaking jackpot that has just been set.

                          ... the lottery never fails to surprise!
                            RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
                            mid-Ohio
                            United States
                            Member #9
                            March 24, 2001
                            19830 Posts
                            Online
                            Posted: March 23, 2005, 3:21 pm - IP Logged
                            Quote: Originally posted by RJOh on March 23, 2005



                            Quote: Originally posted by golotto on March 23, 2005


                            A random game like Powerball, with it's current matrix, might begin a record setting jackpot run at any time. 



                            States and casinos that make their money off gambling don't like the word might, they want a steady flow of predictable income and they'll change the rules to make that happens.

                            RJOh




                            How did I do that?  At 3:00 pm, I quoted a remark from a post made by golotto at 3:02 pm.  Did I see two minutes into the future?  I now will try to quote this evening RC5 drawing results before the actual drawing at 7:30 pm, but early enough to play.

                             * you don't need to buy more tickets, just buy a winning ticket * 
                               
                                         Evil Looking