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Powerball outmuscles Mega Millions in sales, jackpots

Mega Millions / PowerballMega Millions / Powerball: Powerball outmuscles Mega Millions in sales, jackpots
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Powerball is on a roll.

Wednesday's annuity jackpot got to be gigantic — $252 million — by leaving the main rival in the dust.

Both grew for 11 drawings, but the top prize in Mega Millions rose only to $143 million Tuesday night.

When states began selling both lotteries on Jan. 31, observers wondered how they'd fare head to head.

The verdict seems to be in.

Powerball is Coke, Hertz, Muhammad Ali. Mega Millions is Pepsi, Avis, Joe Frazier.

In Pennsylvania, a Powerball state for years, the game has maintained its dominance, outselling at a 4-1 rate since cross-selling began, according to state lottery spokeswoman Kirstin Alvanitakis.

In New Jersey, where Mega Millions long reigned, Powerball has made rapid gains, achieving more than 40 percent of sales in March and February, according to state lottery spokesman Dominic DeMarco.

Count the proceeds from Powerball's Power Play — an extra $1 buys a shot to multiply non-jackpot wins — and the cut is 44 percent.

Powerball's last jackpot — $106 million cash — was even won in Jersey, at a deli north of Newark.

"It's become more Powerball," said Lav Patel, co-owner of Gene's in Morris Plains.

The reasons aren't exactly clear.

Forget about odds or jackpot reputations.

The chances of winning Mega Millions' top prize with a single ticket are infinitesimal: 1 in about 176 million. But Powerball's are worse: 1 in 195 million.

The biggest payout in U.S. history — not counting government bailouts — was the $390 million Mega Millions jackpot hit in March 2007 by two winners, including a Cape May County couple. Each lottery has had four jackpots top $300 million.

Moreover, in actual cash, those Mega Millions jackpots were better deals. The biggest Powerball prize ever, billed as a $356 million annuity, netted a lump sum of $177 million, before taxes, for a set of Nebraska coworkers in 2006. That's about half the annuity amount. The record Mega Millions prize paid $232 million cash — about three-fifths of the annuity.

Basically, Powerball has more of a gap because its annual payouts gradually increase and last for 29 years, compared to Mega Millions' fixed payments for 26 years, Alvanitakis explained.

Pennsylvania directs its proceeds, after expenses, to services for the elderly. New Jersey puts most of its lottery revenue toward higher education.

This delayed payout works to Powerball's advantage, though, because the annuities get the large type and the bigger hype, said business professor Scott Testa of Cabrini College in Radnor.

Powerball added to this edge early last year, when it boosted its starting jackpots to $20 million, topping Mega Millions' minimum $12 million.

"It's probably a pretty good strategy move by Powerball," Testa said.

But a head start doesn't explain all of the momentum.

In early February, when Powerball's annuity rebooted to $20 million, Mega Millions was offering $32 million ($20 million cash) and yet a half-dozen drawings later, Powerball's annuity nudged higher, hitting $114 million vs. $112 million.

Has to be some additional appeal.

One clear edge is the Power Play. Every Powerball jurisdiction has this multiplier option, including all 37 states that now also sell Mega Millions. But players in 10 highly populated double-sales states — including New Jersey and New York — have no such option. They declined to retool and add a similar, Texas-innovated selection called the Megaplier.

While Power Play proceeds don't directly fuel jackpots — they go toward their extra payouts, Alvanitakis said — many multiplier fans have no choice but to favor Powerball.

In addition, a Power Play ticket automatically awards $1 million to anyone who matches all the numbers but the Power Ball. The number drawn as the multiplier doesn't matter. The Megaplier can award $1 million only when it comes up 4.

But Testa suspects the best explanation for Powerball's apparent preeminence is much simpler:

"It's a better name. It has better brand recognition. More people recognize what it is," the professor said.

So just as people go into stores and ask for Kleenex or Windex when other brands will do, lottery players tend to think and say Powerball, he said.

"The name Powerball seems to resonate better with lottery players."

"When you're talking about gambling, you're talking about dreams and emotion, and logic usually doesn't come into play, believe it or not," Testa said.

"If you really were thinking logically, you wouldn't gamble, because you know the odds are against you."

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

Philadelphia Inquirer

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33 comments. Last comment 7 years ago by RJOh.
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Avatar
Milwaukee, WI
United States
Member #3131
December 27, 2003
665 Posts
Offline
Posted: April 21, 2010, 8:39 am - IP Logged

I'll take the "loser" jackpot happily!  :-)

But don't forget to compare the cash values too.

PB tends to bloat the annuity value, when most people will take the cash value.

And PB has harder odds too.

So I'll buy both...

MarkP

    Avatar

    Honduras
    Member #20982
    August 29, 2005
    4715 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: April 21, 2010, 9:01 am - IP Logged

    like i care...i dont think anybody cares...AS LONG AS THEY WIN THEM...Anyway a Pick3 or Pick4 Exchange for regular people beats the crap out of both of them...

    The Forex trades: 1.6 Trillion dollars EVERY day, that´s more than the GDP of the Carribbean Central America, COMBINED. Enough to feed every crook out there for centuries...To all Geniuses & Powers Countries of the World the Planet needs breakthroughs in all Medicine, Veterinary, Biology related fields, Psychology, Population Psychology/Sociology..They need to genetically ingeneer new plants species/types to give more variety of plants and thus have more resources for combating diseases¨


     


     


     

     


      dpoly1's avatar - driver
      PA
      United States
      Member #66141
      October 16, 2008
      1672 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: April 21, 2010, 9:24 am - IP Logged

      I am from Pa and I play both MM and PB. They are the only games that I play. I don't have enough money to play daily numbers every day.

       

      Come on PB ...... I need a win ! MM too !

       

      Sun Smiley

        LotteryJunkiE99's avatar - Lottery-025.jpg

        United States
        Member #72647
        March 23, 2009
        63 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: April 21, 2010, 10:18 am - IP Logged

        Well, I always thought the name Mega Millions had more flair than Powerball, but maybe the fact that you automatically can possibly get 1 million dollars at the second prize level with PP, makes it more attractive.   Also, I think that MegaMillion drawings for some reason seem more fair, at least the machine that makes the drawing seems more free of devices that might make it otherwise seem rigged.   Maybe its just a perception, but anyhow, I hope to see a 300M+ jackpot tomorrow!!! Who's with me? Embarassed

        - ILOVETHELOTTERY Sun Smiley

          dpoly1's avatar - driver
          PA
          United States
          Member #66141
          October 16, 2008
          1672 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: April 21, 2010, 10:55 am - IP Logged

          I will settle for +/-$91,275,000 to be wired to my checking account after tonight's drawing.

          $300 million would be OK too, but I could maybe make ends meet with a win tonight.

          I hope that only one person wins either way, because it makes certain people wrinkle up their noses in not so righteous indignation!

          They can publish my name and where I live currently ... but they only thing that will be here is some old furniture and some NO TRESPASSING signs!

          I will retain a CPA, but I don't need a financial planner. I have learned well from my late father, who left a very nice estate from a modest income.

          I would post some of my purchases here, so that the experts can speculate on how long it will take me to go bankrupt .... all the while depositing checks from my investments.

          My main hobby would be helping young people and those that I seek out with helpful donations. NO requests for money would be honored or acknowledged !!!!!!

          US FlagI would spread the wealth the Patriotic Way .... by donations and purchases US Flag

          Me tomorrow .... win or lose → Cool

            computerhead723's avatar - lightbulb
            Buffalo
            United States
            Member #54397
            August 17, 2007
            245 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: April 21, 2010, 11:09 am - IP Logged

            Well, I always thought the name Mega Millions had more flair than Powerball, but maybe the fact that you automatically can possibly get 1 million dollars at the second prize level with PP, makes it more attractive.   Also, I think that MegaMillion drawings for some reason seem more fair, at least the machine that makes the drawing seems more free of devices that might make it otherwise seem rigged.   Maybe its just a perception, but anyhow, I hope to see a 300M+ jackpot tomorrow!!! Who's with me? Embarassed

            money,money, more  money  I  love it  ....Banana

            IN NY we  have   mega lottery  and  powerball  -+sweet  millions  and  the  ny  lottery game ; its  about  40+million  -I  am  not  sure .Hurray!......almost  a  billion  in  play  this  week......

              RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
              mid-Ohio
              United States
              Member #9
              March 24, 2001
              19817 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: April 21, 2010, 12:35 pm - IP Logged

              Well, I always thought the name Mega Millions had more flair than Powerball, but maybe the fact that you automatically can possibly get 1 million dollars at the second prize level with PP, makes it more attractive.   Also, I think that MegaMillion drawings for some reason seem more fair, at least the machine that makes the drawing seems more free of devices that might make it otherwise seem rigged.   Maybe its just a perception, but anyhow, I hope to see a 300M+ jackpot tomorrow!!! Who's with me? Embarassed

              I always thought the name "BigGame" had a nice sound but I'm sure someone did some research before changing it to "MegaMillions".  I'm just happy both games are in Ohio now so I don't have travel out of state to play PB when its jackpot gets big.

              Now all I have do is figure out when the terminals switch over for the next drawing.  I bought PB tickets Saturday night at 10:15PM for Saturday drawing and I thought I matched 0+1 twice and last night when I tried to cash it in to play MM, I found out the ticket was printed for tonight's drawing instead.  Fortunately I save all my losing tickets to the end of the year so the rest of those tickets were easy to find.

                Toney725's avatar - speedykat
                Stone Mountain, GA
                United States
                Member #3189
                January 1, 2004
                28233 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: April 21, 2010, 12:37 pm - IP Logged

                I always thought the name "BigGame" had a nice sound but I'm sure someone did some research before changing it to "MegaMillions".  I'm just happy both games are in Ohio now so I don't have travel out of state to play PB when its jackpot gets big.

                Now all I have do is figure out when the terminals switch over for the next drawing.  I bought PB tickets Saturday night at 10:15PM for Saturday drawing and I thought I matched 0+1 twice and last night when I tried to cash it in to play MM, I found out the ticket was printed for tonight's drawing instead.  Fortunately I save all my losing tickets to the end of the year so the rest of those tickets were easy to find.

                The cutoff time in GA is 10pm.

                  RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
                  mid-Ohio
                  United States
                  Member #9
                  March 24, 2001
                  19817 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: April 21, 2010, 12:41 pm - IP Logged

                  The cutoff time in GA is 10pm.

                  For MM, Ohio switch over after 10:45 PM and I have played at 10:45 after a clerk told me I had up to 10:50.

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

                    ThatScaryChick's avatar - x1MqPuM
                    Idaho
                    United States
                    Member #56506
                    November 21, 2007
                    6537 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: April 21, 2010, 12:48 pm - IP Logged

                    I don't care which one is higher. I always play them both no matter how high they are and I have tickets for tonights Powerball game. Smile

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


                      United States
                      Member #63273
                      July 24, 2008
                      24 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: April 21, 2010, 1:18 pm - IP Logged

                      I'll let one of you guys win the PB tonight or MM Friday...I'll just take the 8.2 mil Ohio Classic Lotto tonight, thanks, lol..Cool

                        Avatar

                        United States
                        Member #26330
                        November 16, 2005
                        330 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: April 21, 2010, 2:07 pm - IP Logged

                        I'll let one of you guys win the PB tonight or MM Friday...I'll just take the 8.2 mil Ohio Classic Lotto tonight, thanks, lol..Cool

                        Thanks McCaskey that's a deal!  LOLLOL        Anyways Good Luck with whichever jackpot you shoot for.....   I think someone could live well off $8 million.......     But I have some very BIG DREAMS that require quite a bit of cash.      Anyhow if I do win I won't be seeking any attention and leaving for a LONG EXTENDED vacation......Luckily where I'm going I think they have Internet Cafe's so I can check in here at LP.

                          joshuacloak's avatar - Money Swim-uncle-scrooge-mcduck-35997717-677-518.jpg

                          United States
                          Member #32537
                          February 12, 2006
                          698 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: April 21, 2010, 2:38 pm - IP Logged

                          seeing as pb sold now in ever state lotto but California lottery

                          it has better overall real estate market then mm at this point in my mind

                          it may as will be labeled almust as : a national lotto

                          am just glad both are rolling high,

                          on that note:, suck it doubters, more players IS Better for large jackpots! more often

                          ,not worst for high jackpots

                           

                          as for mm, its indeed the better game overall for players

                          , a biger % of the  money per ticket goes to jackpot prize pool

                          better odds, and overall best cash option ON large jackpots  for the winners

                          if both to be at say 390m,  mega millions would in reality be the Bigest cash jackpot in history right now

                           

                          thanks to PB Jackpot Cap,

                          even if PB hits it, its cash jackpot, sure would not beat past old  record Cash jackpot of  MM

                          sad is it not?

                           

                          more over MM just needs to set a new record high jackpot,

                          and all  folks eyes be shocked as its Cash Jackpot will be blasting off into the Stratosphere

                           

                          only thing i change about pb, is its very Stupid jackpot cap, its almust never hit , yes but when it is,

                          my god are you passing up a chance at even higher sells!

                          the bottom line is people buy on jackpot level amount

                          , 2nd place does not Sell tickets, higher 2nd place prize , its a plus,

                          but not the ticket mover, that large number everyone see's is

                          so the day we hit the jackpot cap on pb,

                          i be happy we set new records, but mad at same time  ,passed up chance  for say:

                           

                          mm is the only hope for a half a billion buck jackpot let alone 400m jackpot at this point

                          it take pb getting to 390cap, where it be won for sure, then it take a other  record to push it to 415m, cap only goes up to 25m once its been hit,  sign

                           

                          oh will, best of luck to both getting to record highs

                          i want new records this year!

                            DC81's avatar - batman39
                            MI
                            United States
                            Member #54830
                            August 31, 2007
                            985 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: April 21, 2010, 2:40 pm - IP Logged

                            This story brings a big "duh" from me.... I said it months and months ago that the crossing over would benefit Powerball more than it would MM since Powerball stood to gain access to many states with large populations compared to PB's availability in mostly smaller populated states. Besides that, people are suckers and only look at the annuity amount which is more inflated on the Powerball side and the cash option difference isn't as big. Plus there's the thing where MM has "better" (which isn't saying much) odds..

                            You can't predict random.