January 13, 2012
PowerBall® Game Change Starts January 15
Game Will Offer Faster-Growing Jackpots and More $1 Million Prizes
As PowerBall® celebrates its 20th anniversary, the game is being redesigned to bring more value to its players. Jackpots will start at $40 million and grow faster overall. There will be more chances to win a prize of at least $1 million cash and the overall odds of winning any prize in the game also will be better. The ticket price will change, moving from $1 to $2. For one extra dollar, players can add the PowerPlay® feature to at least double their non-jackpot prizes.
Since getting its start in April 1992 in 15 states (including Rhode Island) 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, as it nears its 20th birthday, the game is played in 44 jurisdictions across the nation, with players buying more than $3 billion annually in PowerBall® tickets. And the biggest jackpot in the game so far was a $365 million prize split by eight co-workers at a Nebraska meat-packing plant in February 2006.
But with that success comes demand for innovation to keep things fresh -- and continue to deliver the attention-grabbing jackpots for which PowerBall® is known. With the starting jackpot doubling, and the jackpots growing faster overall, the jackpots are expected to reach record-breaking levels. Wednesday night's estimated jackpot will jump from $66 million to $80 million if it does not get hit on Saturday night. If it does get hit, the estimated jackpot will be a minimum of $40 million.
In response to players' requests for more million dollar winners, the prize for matching five out of five numbers will increase to $1 million from $200,000. If players purchase PowerPlay®, that prize will become $2 million. Last calendar year, five Rhode Islanders matched five out five numbers to win $200,000, and one player also played PowerPlay® and won $1 million, so with the new game, there would have been five $1 million dollar winners and one $2 million dollar winner.
Players in the newly designed game will still choose their first five numbers from a pool of 59. But the group of numbers in the PowerBall® pool will shrink from 39 to 35, producing better overall odds of winning a prize in the game. Players today have a 1 in 35 overall chance of winning, which will improve to 1 in 31.8 in the revamped game. That means tens of thousands more winners each drawing.
The Mega Millions® jackpot game, the Wild Money in-state jackpot game, Daily Numbers, and Instant Games will still be available for those players who prefer the $1 price level of play.
PowerBall® drawings are Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10:59 p.m. on WPRI-12.
The 44 U.S. lotteries where PowerBall® is available are: Arizona Lottery, Arkansas Lottery, Colorado Lottery, Connecticut Lottery Corporation, D.C. Lottery & CGCB, Delaware State Lottery, Florida Lottery, Georgia Lottery Corporation, Hoosier Lottery, Idaho Lottery, Illinois Lottery, Iowa Lottery, Kansas Lottery, Kentucky Lottery Corporation, Louisiana Lottery Corporation, Maine Lottery, Maryland Lott, Massachusetts Lottery, Michigan Lottery, Minnesota State Lottery, Missouri Lottery, Montana Lottery, Nebraska Lottery, New Hampshire Lottery Commission, New Jersey Lottery, New Mexico Lottery Authority, New York Lottery, North Carolina Education Lottery, North Dakota Lottery, Ohio Lottery, Oklahoma Lottery, Oregon Lottery, Pennsylvania Lottery, Rhode Island Lottery, South Carolina Education Lottery, South Dakota Lottery, Tennessee Education Lottery, Texas Lottery, U.S. Virgin Islands Lottery, Vermont Lottery, Virginia Lottery, Washington Lottery, Wisconsin Lottery and the West Virginia Lottery.
PowerBall® is owned by the Multi-State Lottery Association which is a government-benefit, non-profit association owned and operated by 33 member lotteries. MUSL currently coordinates six multi-state games in the United States.
PowerBall® and PowerPlay® are registered trademarks of the Multi-State Lottery Association.