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Powerball lottery to have larger jackpot, but harder to win

PowerballPowerball: Powerball lottery to have larger jackpot, but harder to win
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The Powerball lottery game will be going through some changes beginning in January, including having a larger starting jackpot that is more difficult to win.

Starting on Jan. 4, Florida will join the 30 United States lotteries that now offer Powerball, adding a population of 18.8 million to those who have the chance to play the game.

The starting jackpot will jump from $15 million to $20 million, the world's largest starting jackpot for a lotto-style game. In addition, the average jackpot will increase from an expected $95.5 million to $141 million, and the percentage of prize funds dedicated to the jackpot prize also will increase.

To grow the average jackpot size, four white ball numbers will be added to the game's field for a total of 59, and three red Powerball numbers will be removed for a total of 39. These changes to Powerball's matrix will lengthen the odds of winning the jackpot from 1 in 146.1 million to 1 in 195.2 million.

At the same time, the overall odds of winning any prize will decrease from 1 in 37 to 1 in 35. With the change in overall odds, the game is expected to produce an additional 3 million prize winners each year.

The price for a ticket will remain $1.

Powerball is played by choosing five white ball numbers and one red Powerball number. The game offers nine ways to win with prize levels starting at $3 for matching only the red Powerball number. The jackpot is won by matching all six numbers drawn.

For an additional $1 per play, Powerball players can add the Power Play option to their ticket for the chance to multiply any non-jackpot prize up to five times, depending upon the multiplier number randomly selected during the drawing.

On Jan. 4, Power Play also will undergo a change so that the 5X multiplier will always apply to match-5 prizes, when the Power Play option is purchased.

Sales for the new version of Powerball start Jan. 4, with the first drawing of the new game occurring on Jan. 7. In preparation for the changes, the lottery progressively and temporarily suspended the game's multidraw feature, which allows players to purchase plays for up to 20 advance drawings. The multidraw feature will return to full functionality again on Jan. 4.

When Florida joins Powerball in January, the live drawings on Wednesday and Saturday nights will move from Des Moines, Iowa, to Orlando, Fla.

More information about Powerball, including game rules, winning numbers, statistics, news, and game facts, can be found at USA Mega (www.usamega.com), a Web site featuring the United States's multi-state lottery games.

Alexandria Town Talk, Lottery Post Staff

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32 comments. Last comment 8 years ago by Texas Joey.
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JAP69's avatar - alas
South Carolina
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Posted: December 29, 2008, 12:12 pm - IP Logged

"1 in 146.1 million to 1 in 195.2 million."

Green laugh

MAGA

    four4me's avatar - gate1
    MD
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    Posted: December 29, 2008, 1:05 pm - IP Logged

    Powerball lottery to have larger jackpot, but harder to win

    Basically the same thing they said about the last 2 matrix changes and we all know how that worked out jackpots were won at or about the same dollar amounts as in previous matrix's. None of them never reached the projected 400 to 500 million dollar amount.

    Big John says. You don't hit the number. The number hits you!!!!

                   I'm not Big John, I'm Four4me, Big John's a friend.
      justxploring's avatar - villiarna
      Wandering Aimlessly
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      Posted: December 29, 2008, 1:24 pm - IP Logged

      "1 in 146.1 million to 1 in 195.2 million."

      Green laugh

      I'll join you, JAP69Green laughGreen laugh

      195 million is about 64% of the 305 million population of the United States, including children, people in prison, patients in comas, etc.

      The bottom line is - someone will win.   So will you be that very lucky person the Lottery fairy flies over and sprinkles her (or his) dust on, or will you be 1 or 2 numbers off for the rest of your life?

        ThatScaryChick's avatar - x1MqPuM
        Idaho
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        November 21, 2007
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        Posted: December 29, 2008, 1:29 pm - IP Logged

        Powerball lottery to have larger jackpot, but harder to win

        Basically the same thing they said about the last 2 matrix changes and we all know how that worked out jackpots were won at or about the same dollar amounts as in previous matrix's. None of them never reached the projected 400 to 500 million dollar amount.

        Yeah, I'm wondering if it will reach the 400 or 500 dollar amount. I'm thinking it won't.

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

          Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
          Chief Bottle Washer
          New Jersey
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          Posted: December 29, 2008, 2:42 pm - IP Logged

          Yeah, I'm wondering if it will reach the 400 or 500 dollar amount. I'm thinking it won't.

          I'm thinking maybe they should have bit the bullet and made it a billion to 1 so they could finally break the $400 million jackpot amount.  (Yes, I'm saying this in jest.)

           

          Check the State Lottery Report Card
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          Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
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            ThatScaryChick's avatar - x1MqPuM
            Idaho
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            Posted: December 29, 2008, 2:46 pm - IP Logged

            I'm thinking maybe they should have bit the bullet and made it a billion to 1 so they could finally break the $400 million jackpot amount.  (Yes, I'm saying this in jest.)

            Well, the way the odds are now for actually winning the jackpot, they might as well have. LOL

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

              Avatar
              Columbia City, Indiana
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              December 9, 2003
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              Posted: December 29, 2008, 3:02 pm - IP Logged

                   I could be wrong (it happened once before), but it seems to me that these matrix changes could be brought about by too many people winning major prizes too often. If that's the case, then it's just barely possible that some of those "systems" out there actually work the way they're supposed to.

                   Regardless of their reasons, I'd like to read the agreement the MUSL signed with Florida to see what types of incentives were offered to change the location of the drawings. My guess is that the MUSL won't be paying any state taxes on their profits for the next five or ten years. There's nothing wrong with that, of course; large corporations in every state are offered similar tax incentives because they provide jobs there. I only wonder about it because I'm curious to know what sparked the decision to move the game to Florida.

                   The MUSL and MegaMillions don't sell scratch-offs, so ALL of their profits must be derived from online ticket sales. Over the past ten years or so, we've seen state lotteries introduce scratch-off tickets with progressively higher purchase prices and larger top prize amounts, but with fewer winners overall. When the top prizes in those games are won too quickly (long before the game is scheduled to end), lawsuits are filed because lottery officials don't like to tell us we can't win the amounts advertised. One would think these legal actions would severely cut into state lottery profits, but they don't. Their standard defense, which has proved out to be very effective is, "Oops; we accidentally made a mistake. Sorry."

                   Conversely, when too many people win too much money too quickly in the multi-state games, they change the matrix in order to shore up their annual profits. I don't believe it's a coincidence that these changes come either in October or January, as these months represent the beginning of the fiscal year for most American corporations. 

                   PowerBall is the only game I play in Indiana. Sometimes I drive to Michigan and buy fifteen dollars worth of MegaMillions tickets for three draws (for a total of $45) when their jackpot reaches the stratosphere. The bottom line is, large jackpots drive record ticket sales, and I believe the new PowerBall matrix, and the addition of several million more players in Florida, will result in higher jackpots until some LotteryPost.com members gaze deep into the game and figure out how to beat it again.

                   One more point: With the continually weakening dollar, we can expect more state lotteries to change their games as well, as they try to stay afloat in a failing economy. I heard on the news last night that another state, Arkansas I think, is trying to privatize its lottery. Apparently, they didn't get the memo from the government that said this would violate federal lottery laws.

                   I'll continue playing PowerBall, although I won't spend any more money on the game than I do now. Even if the jackpot reaches $700M, $800M or (dare I say it?) a billion dollars, someone will win it eventually, and the only way to be certain you won't win is by not playing. But what if it never attains those amounts? What if the average jackpot turns out to be only $200 million? Would it be worth a dollar or two to take a chance that you might be the lone ticket-holder for that jackpot? But geez, Jim695, what if someone else has the same numbers I've played? Yep, it would be tough trying to scrape by on a measly fifty or a hundred million, but I'd be perfectly happy with that kind of pocket change.

              Come, Pinky; we must prepare for tomorrow night...

              Jim

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                Posted: December 29, 2008, 3:19 pm - IP Logged

                Just be grateful they don't simply use smoke and mirrors, creating a phony jackpot of 500 milion by changing the annuity payout again. Stretching it out to 35 years, or decreasing the initial payments and adding a ballon payment at the end could easily let them inflate the advertised jackpot by 50%.

                I know that MM said they could potentialy see a jackpot of 500 million when they changed the matrix, but I'm not sure if PB every claimed that as a possibility. Even with the new odds, reaching a record level requires an unusually long run without a winner. With odds of 195 milion to 1, there should be about 1 winner for every 195 million tickets, and 195 million tickets means a cash jackpot of about  62 million. Right now that's about 96 million as an annuity, so they need to sell about 4 times the expected number of tickets without a winner in order to set their next record. Because of the rollover cap when a previous record is reached, PB will need to reach record levels at least 6 times to reach the 500 million mark.

                As far as why they raised the odds, I doubt it has anything to do with "too many winners". Over the long term, the number of winers is a result of the odds, and I don't think MUSL is actually dumb enough to think a few extra winners at lower jackpots means  there's a problem with the odds. OTOH, I do believe they see that as a problem with sales. Most players just look at the (inflated) size of the advertised jackpot, and the bigger it is, the more tickets they buy. MUSL just wants to create bigger jackpots to drive sales, and while some players may whine, most will just see how big the jackpot is, and buy their tickets.

                  Captain Lotto's avatar - CaptLotto
                  Jefferson City, MO
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                  Posted: December 29, 2008, 3:22 pm - IP Logged

                  The drawings move to Florida is all about showbiz.  Isn't there some kind of "Hollywood Studios" in Florida?   

                  And the matrix change is all about driving sales.  Profits are returned to the state that sold the tickets.  MUSL is a non-profit association of State Lotteries.  The idea is to generate larger jackpots.  Adding population helps, as does changing the matrix.  People used to get excited about a $100 million jackpot.  Now it's closer to $200 million.  Without those huge jackpots driving sales, there's fewer sales and less profit for the individual states. 

                  Good or bad, Powerball has always been a "jackpot" game.

                  Captain Lotto

                  "Every day is a good day!"

                    four4me's avatar - gate1
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                    Posted: December 29, 2008, 3:34 pm - IP Logged

                    I agree jim695 they change the matrix so people won't be able to use that data as effectively as they were doing. With only 348 drawings under their belt they must think people are getting a hang on the number flow and by changing the matrix will cause some of the players to starting a new run at a system.

                    While i don't think 348 drawings is enough history for a great system it was just starting to show some of its numbers patterns or relationships to other digits.

                    Powerballs previous matrix changes were done in favor of bigger pots and because people were winning smaller pots more often. Oh and because Mega also changed their matrix.

                    Big John says. You don't hit the number. The number hits you!!!!

                                   I'm not Big John, I'm Four4me, Big John's a friend.
                      x1kosmic's avatar - neptune vg2.gif

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                      Posted: December 29, 2008, 4:28 pm - IP Logged

                      The one little thing, we haven't heard much about, is, where they can put you in a "pool-play"

                      I wonder if thats still going to be in effect,  or mabey after everyone gets used to the change, they'll spring it on us.

                         So,  you get a ticket,   ....say yes to power-play,  and get in a pool,   $10 dollars quickly changes to $30 dollars.  And I guess those'll have to be quick-picks.

                      I'm not seeing a way to have my own numbers ...and be in a pool,   with my numbers.

                      Or you can get in a pool, and say No for $20 dollars, I suppose.

                        dpoly1's avatar - driver
                        PA
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                        Posted: December 29, 2008, 6:03 pm - IP Logged

                        People will still win. The jackpots may be higher at times. The lure of bigger jackpots is what attracts more players.

                          BuyLow's avatar - palm tree.jpg
                          Florida
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                          Posted: December 29, 2008, 6:05 pm - IP Logged

                          Am glad PB is FINALLY coming to FL.  I am sick of driving to SC for tickets.  FL has NO state income tax so a win here would be SWEET!!

                           

                          Interesting the drawings were moved to FL also.......I'm hoping the jackpot will roll till the first draw including FL. Big Smile

                           

                          Good luck to all that play.

                            GamerMom's avatar - tails

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                            Posted: December 29, 2008, 6:15 pm - IP Logged

                            are the odds for winning the lower tier prizes decent???