October 2, 2015
PowerBall® Redesign: Better Overall Odds Of Winning A Prize,
10X Feature Added When Starting Jackpots Are Lower
Changes Should Continue To Deliver Big Jackpots, Bump Up Other Significant Prizes
An updated version of the PowerBall® game is about to debut, with changes designed to continue to deliver big jackpots while upping some other significant prizes in the game.
Plays will still cost $2 each, and there will be better overall odds of winning any prize. Other changes include a big jump up to $50,000 for the game's prize for matching 4 numbers and the PowerBall number, and a chance for players to multiply most winnings by up to 10 times when the jackpot is $150 million or less.
"PowerBall has been revamped several times in its 23-year history to continue to deliver the big jackpots people expect from the game, but also give players the chance to win other significant prizes," said Rhode Island Lottery Director Gerald Aubin. "Our latest changes are designed to continue that trend and build in several new features."
Since getting its start in April 1992 in 15 states with jackpots that started at a guaranteed $2 million, PowerBall has grown into one of the world's biggest and most recognizable lottery games. Today it's sold by 47 lotteries across the nation, with players buying more than $4 billion in PowerBall tickets each year. The biggest jackpot in the game to date was a $590.5 million prize won by a Florida woman in May 2013. In Rhode Island, eight players have won the jackpot, with $336.4 million being the largest jackpot won by a Rhode Islander.
With the game's success comes demand for innovation to keep things fresh. Aubin said that the latest changes are the eighth revamp of the game.
"Players have told us they'd like to see new features in PowerBall, and we needed a redesign to make that possible," he said.
Sales in the redesigned game will begin on Sunday, Oct. 4, and the first drawing with the new features will be on Wednesday, Oct. 7. There will be changes to both sets of numbers that players use. Players will choose their first five numbers from a set of 69 (currently 59) white balls and their PowerBall from a pool of 26 (currently 35) red balls. The end result will be better overall odds of winning any prize with extended odds of winning the jackpot.
PowerBall jackpots will continue to start at $40 million and the game's second prize for matching the first five numbers but missing the PowerBall will still be $1 million. But the game's third prize level is getting a five-fold increase from $10,000 to $50,000 for matching four of the first five numbers and the PowerBall.
The game's Power Play® option also will get a big expansion with a 10X feature when jackpots in the game are at lower levels. Currently, players can multiply many prizes by up to five times by adding the Power Play option to their purchase for an extra $1 per play. Under the new design, the Power Play option will be expanded to multiply most prizes (except the jackpot and Match 5 level) by up to 10 times whenever the game's advertised annuitized jackpot is $150 million or less. The Match 5 prize of $1 million will continue to double to $2 million with the Power Play added.
"The 10X feature in the Power Play has been used in short-term promotions in the past and players have always liked it, so we're keeping it as an enhancement to the game," Aubin said.
Starting Oct. 7, the Power Play numbers available will be 2X, 3X, 4X, 5X and 10X when the jackpot is $150 million or less. Only the first four multipliers will be in play when the jackpot is higher than that.
Here's an example of how it will work: Let's say the PowerBall jackpot is at $100 million for a particular drawing and someone wins a $50,000 prize for matching four of the first five numbers and the PowerBall. But the player also added the Power Play option to the winning ticket. If 10X is selected as the Power Play number in that night's drawing, the player's $50,000 prize will be multiplied to $500,000.
PowerBall drawings will continue to be held at 10:59 p.m. Eastern on Wednesdays and Saturdays.