Welcome Guest
Log In | Register )
You last visited December 3, 2016, 6:52 pm
All times shown are
Eastern Time (GMT-5:00)

Florida Lottery joins Powerball

PowerballPowerball: Florida Lottery joins Powerball
52
Rating:

January start date; drawings will move to Florida 

Florida Lottery officials on Wednesday said they will add the national Powerball game to the state's portfolio in January and become the new host for the game's semiweekly drawings.

Florida was the only state with a lottery to not offer a multi-state game.

Powerball — the multi-state lottery game known for its mega-jackpots that can top $300 million — is bouncing into Florida lottery retailers in January.

Florida becomes the 30th state to join the game, along with Washington, D.C., and the Virgin Islands. A $1 ticket buys a chance to match five white balls and one red ball drawn on Wednesday and Saturday nights — and a nine-digit payoff.

Eight other combinations also give players a chance to win.

As for winning an instant retirement, you still have a better chance of being struck by lightning, bitten by a shark or maybe both at the same time. The odds of winning Powerball's top prize: one in 146 million.

In contrast, chances of taking the Florida Lotto grand prize are one in 23 million.

The announcement comes at a time of stagnating sales for the Florida lottery. Ticket sales generate $4 billion annually, with most going to education. But state economists recently reduced by more than $150 million the amount projected to go to education over the next two years, citing rising gas prices and Floridians' "weak disposable income growth."

Leo DiBenigno, Florida's Lottery chief, acknowledges that sales at the Lottery's 13,500 retail outlets aren't what Gov. Charlie Crist and department officials want them to be.

"Over 50 percent of our retailers are convenience stores with gasoline stations," DiBenigno said. "I don't know about you, but when I go to fill up my gas tank, I'm not really in a good mood when I'm done."

Florida's Lotto jackpots are enough to quit your job; Powerball jackpots are enough to buy the company.

Already this year Powerball has had top prizes of $97 million, $180 million and $276 million. Florida's payout has cracked the $100 million mark only twice in almost three decades.

Florida's deal with the Multi-State Lottery Association, which directs Powerball, calls for the twice-weekly drawings to be moved from West Des Moines, Iowa, to the Sunshine State. A location has not been chosen.

Players buying tickets at one of the state's biggest Lottery retailers, Food & Lotto in Orlando, cheered the idea of the new game.

"Most people want to win some money, and Powerball — whoa, there's a lot of money involved," said Tony Moreno, 64, a retired New York City policeman. "I could help a lot of people, and I could help myself, too."

Bob Saxour, 56, liked the idea of generating more money for the state, particularly in these rocky economic times.

"It sure beats paying taxes," said Saxour, an Orlando locksmith.

Wednesday's move is not Florida's first pass at Powerball. In 1998, former Democratic Gov. Lawton Chiles approved a contract to bring the state into the game. But his successor, Republican Jeb Bush, rescinded the agreement in 1999.

Bush, no fan of gambling, said he didn't think Powerball would provide a reliable flow of money and might undermine existing games.

Crist, though, doesn't share those fears.

But the move isn't without its critics.

Rep. Frank Attkisson, R-St. Cloud, is chairman of a state House council that oversees the Lottery. DiBenigno testified to the council this spring that Lottery officials had no plans to join Powerball.

DiBenigno says conditions have changed since lawmakers adjourned in May — but Attkisson is livid.

"This is a very arrogant and y approach by a department that appeared before us at least a half-dozen times and told us they had no intention to move in this direction," he said.

The Legislature has fought Crist's efforts to expand gambling — even suing him this year over a deal giving the Seminole Tribe Las Vegas-style table games at its casinos in Florida. A decision by the Florida Supreme Court is pending.

Lawmakers this spring also rebuffed Crist's bid to boost Lottery advertising $5 million and install 1,000 new instant ticket machines to allow buyers to bypass checkout lines. In his budget proposal, the governor said his proposals would boost Lottery revenue $248 million.

And clearly, Crist hasn't given up the hope that gambling will brighten the state's sagging revenue picture, which forced year-over-year budget cuts of $6 billion. The Powerball move doesn't require legislative approval.

Florida Lottery Secretary Leo DiBenigno said Wednesday that times have changed.

"Like any other businesses have to change, we have to adjust to the marketplace," DiBenigno said. "The lottery will constantly re-evaluate its options."

Wednesday night's drawing was for $85 million.

Bennie Orcutt, 53, of Cantonment said he likely will be a frequent Powerball player.

And he knows what he would do should he win.

"I would take care of everything, give the relatives some and disappear," said Orcutt, who has played Powerball in other states.

Robert Dean, 26, of Pensacola said the most he has won playing Fantasy 5 every day is $120, and he will probably play Powerball.

"I just take risks," Dean said. "You never know. When I won that $120 I only had $10 left in my pocket."

Sun-Sentinel, Lottery Post Staff

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.

46 comments. Last comment 8 years ago by Raven62.
Page 1 of 4
GamerMom's avatar - tails

United States
Member #60535
April 21, 2008
460 Posts
Offline
Posted: July 3, 2008, 11:43 am - IP Logged

sweet!! I know nothing about powerball.  How much do the tickets cost??


    United States
    Member #58528
    February 18, 2008
    710 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: July 3, 2008, 12:31 pm - IP Logged

    sweet!! I know nothing about powerball.  How much do the tickets cost??

    Powerball tickets cost $1.You can also add the power play option for an additional $1.


      United States
      Member #58528
      February 18, 2008
      710 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: July 3, 2008, 1:00 pm - IP Logged

      I do wonder,though,why they will be moving the powerball drawing from Iowa to Florida.Are there going to be other changes to Powerball that they haven't told us about,yet?Are the drawings still going to be televised "live"?

        justxploring's avatar - villiarna
        Wandering Aimlessly
        United States
        Member #25360
        November 5, 2005
        4461 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: July 3, 2008, 1:09 pm - IP Logged

        sweet!! I know nothing about powerball.  How much do the tickets cost??

        Obviously the Lottery needs to raise more money.  I guess adding the Lotto Plus feature isn't helping too much.

        GamerMom - the odds are over 1 in 146M which is several times high than the FL Lotto.  Lotto odds are less than 1 in 23 million.   However, a lot of people wanted it, so good luck to everyone!

        I already spend between $15 and $20 a week on the lottery and trying to cut back, so I'll pass on PB, although it's tempting to try just for the $200,000 prize even though the odds of getting the first 5 numbers are still over 1 in 3.5 million.  Then, if you spend an extra dollar, you can win 2,3,4 or even 5 times the prize (not the jackpot)  Still, the FL Fantasy 5 odds are less than the PB $10,000 prize and the jackpots are usually around $250,000 although sometimes several people win.  Still, odds of just winning the PB $10,000 prize are 1 in 584K and Fantasy 5 only 1 in 377K.

          GamerMom's avatar - tails

          United States
          Member #60535
          April 21, 2008
          460 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: July 3, 2008, 1:12 pm - IP Logged

          yes, I can't understand why they thought people would get excited about losing 2 or 3 dollars instead of 1.  I think the Lotto Plus is the dumbest thing ever to come up with.

           

          So you will have a choice between buying PB and regular lotto? I wasn't sure if it would be PB only come January

            DC81's avatar - batman39
            MI
            United States
            Member #54830
            August 31, 2007
            985 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: July 3, 2008, 1:31 pm - IP Logged

            Heh, I was hoping they'd eventually go with Mega Millions, oh well if I ever live in Florida again and still have any intention of playing the lottery maybe I'll move close to the boarder with Georgia.

            You can't predict random.

              ThatScaryChick's avatar - x1MqPuM
              Idaho
              United States
              Member #56506
              November 21, 2007
              6537 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: July 3, 2008, 2:00 pm - IP Logged

              I wonder, how do states choose between getting Powerball or Mega Millions?

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

                OldSchoolPa's avatar - Lottery-057.jpg
                Gurnee, Illinois
                United States
                Member #49731
                February 12, 2007
                917 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: July 3, 2008, 4:00 pm - IP Logged

                GamerMom:  Actually the Lotto Plus feature is the smartest thing the Florida lottery has done (aside from joining PB).  When I finally got a trip down to Florida, the first thing I did was to purchase an advance play $3 ticket.  Perhaps you didn't know that the Canadian lottery tickets are $3, but that is only for the base prize.  So I would much rather spend $3 to win the base prize plus an extra $25 milliion.  BTW what do you see all the winners who only bought a $1 ticket say when they claim their prize now that the Lotto Plus feature is in play..."next time I will buy the $3 ticket!!!  So perhaps you are only speaking for yourself.  Fair enough.  But I know that if the stars align for me to win the Florida jackpot, I want to win as much money as I possibly can, and the Lotto Plus feature gives me that opportunity...that is all, just the opportunity to win more money.  And no one can get mad about that.  And in the meantime, when the draws don't match my numbers, I can feel satisfied that I have contributed to the education of Floridian children.  But then again, I can see that many of the die hard Florida lottery players are actually retirees or transplants to Florida who currently don't have children in Florida public schools, so I guess they just don't care about that...only themselves and how much they have in the bank to go golfing, cruising, tanning, etc.  How selfish.

                Get MONEY!!! Winning a JACKPOT lottery is all the HOPE and CHANGE I desire!!!  NOW give me MONEY!US Flag

                The guy who won the presidency in 2008 really won the lottery...he is now millions richer, travels in first class style, and even has a staff that would be the envy of the richest Powerball winner (she has a staff of 2). Every night he goes to sleep, he probably plays the close of Dave Chappelle's Show: I'm rich beyatch!

                  wizeguy's avatar - animaniacs04

                  United States
                  Member #15143
                  May 10, 2005
                  414 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: July 3, 2008, 4:03 pm - IP Logged

                  I wonder if they're moving the whole operations to Florida or just the drawings? Although I prefer living near the mountains I'd surely take Florida flatlands if the move were paid for to escape the Iowa winters! Thumbs Up


                    United States
                    Member #58528
                    February 18, 2008
                    710 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: July 3, 2008, 7:13 pm - IP Logged

                    I wonder if they're moving the whole operations to Florida or just the drawings? Although I prefer living near the mountains I'd surely take Florida flatlands if the move were paid for to escape the Iowa winters! Thumbs Up

                    I'd rather live in Iowa and suffer through the long cold winters than live in Florida and put up with excessive heat,hurricanes,blue haired old ladies by the thousands and millions of people packed into the state like sardines in a can.I don't call that living.

                      justxploring's avatar - villiarna
                      Wandering Aimlessly
                      United States
                      Member #25360
                      November 5, 2005
                      4461 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: July 3, 2008, 7:26 pm - IP Logged

                      I'd rather live in Iowa and suffer through the long cold winters than live in Florida and put up with excessive heat,hurricanes,blue haired old ladies by the thousands and millions of people packed into the state like sardines in a can.I don't call that living.

                      Do you realize you are stereotyping an entire state?  There are miles and miles of undeveloped land in FL, thousands of acres of ranches too. 

                      BTW, I have lived here for 14 years and I've never seen a woman with blue hair.  I've seen a lot of 20-something girls with tattoos and body piercing however.

                      Weather:  So far this year we haven't had a hurricane and AFAIK no major hurricanes hit last year or in 2006.  For your information:  In over 100 years there has only been 7 category 4 hurricanes. Is it my imagination or has most of the tragic news lately been about the floods in Iowa?

                        GamerMom's avatar - tails

                        United States
                        Member #60535
                        April 21, 2008
                        460 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: July 3, 2008, 7:30 pm - IP Logged

                        excessive heat  (thinks he watches too much Golden Girls)

                        LMAO i think that's the only thing you got right.  but we have excessive heat here in Alabama.  Florida has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.  I won't ever live far from the Panama City Beach area. 

                         

                        Plus...wasn't it IOWA that had some pretty severe weather this year?  hrmmmm

                          justxploring's avatar - villiarna
                          Wandering Aimlessly
                          United States
                          Member #25360
                          November 5, 2005
                          4461 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: July 3, 2008, 7:48 pm - IP Logged

                          To OldSchoolPa -  I honestly think the winners who say "next time I'm spending $3" are asked to say that for the press release.  The 2 people you are talking about won $16M (with a $2 ticket) and $12M (with a $1 ticket)  Seriously, if you won $16 million would you care?  I doubt if someone who just won $12 million by spending $1 buck on his family's birthdays is disappointed he didn't win more.  The only people I hear that from are posters on this board!

                          I don't think it's a dumb idea because it generates more money, but I agree with GamerMom about the concept.  If you have $3 to spend on a Saturday night and you're going to bet on Lotto, it makes more sense to me to buy 3 tickets and give yourself 3 different chances to win something.

                          GamerMom - I'm pretty sure they'll keep the Lotto 6/53 game. 


                            United States
                            Member #58528
                            February 18, 2008
                            710 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: July 3, 2008, 7:59 pm - IP Logged

                            Do you realize you are stereotyping an entire state?  There are miles and miles of undeveloped land in FL, thousands of acres of ranches too. 

                            BTW, I have lived here for 14 years and I've never seen a woman with blue hair.  I've seen a lot of 20-something girls with tattoos and body piercing however.

                            Weather:  So far this year we haven't had a hurricane and AFAIK no major hurricanes hit last year or in 2006.  For your information:  In over 100 years there has only been 7 category 4 hurricanes. Is it my imagination or has most of the tragic news lately been about the floods in Iowa?

                            I'm in my late 50's and I can't remember a year that Florida didn't make the news because of hurricanes...not one.They might not have been catagory 4's,but they were hurricanes just the same.

                            Yeah,Iowa had some terrible weather this spring and the flooding in some areas of the state was tragic.But I'd still choose to live in Iowa over just about any other area of America.Most other parts of America don't amount to much more than tourist destinations,in my opinion.Nice places to visit,but I wouldn't want to live there.