2005-04-07 08:32:32.0

Powerball Changes To Meet Player Demands

Story Photo The 29 lotteries that operate Powerball have voted to make changes to the nation’s first big jackpot game to meet players’ demands for larger and faster growing jackpots.

“Lottery games need to be changed from time-to-time, to respond to both player demands and population changes,” said Randy Davis, President of the Louisiana Lottery Corporation and Chairman of the Powerball Game Group. “These changes will bring to the game the larger jackpots that our players expect.   We are also going to increase the number of big prizes by creating many more $1 million winners.”

One of the most exciting changes will be in the amount of the starting jackpot, which will jump from the current $10 million to $15 million and will increase by no less than $5 million for each drawing.  The annuity option will also be changed so that players will receive an annual payment that increases each year.  Players can also still elect to receive the jackpot as a lump-sum cash payment.

Another added feature to the game will be to double the second prize for matching five white ball numbers, from $100,000 to $200,000 in cash.   With the purchase of the Power Play option, players will have the opportunity to multiply their winnings by five to win $1 million!

Power Play is an option where a player can elect to spend an additional one dollar to multiply their prizes by two, three, four or five times.   The multiplier number is drawn before the lotto numbers each Wednesday and Saturday. 

To increase the average jackpot size, two white ball numbers will be added, changing the jackpot odds to 1 in 146.1 million.   The current game has jackpot odds of 1 in 120.5 million.  The overall odds of winning a cash prize will remain virtually the same at 1 in 36.60 (up slightly from 1 in 36.06).

“These enhancements – bigger and faster growing jackpots and a chance to win up to $1 million by selecting the Power Play option - are important steps to keep Powerball as America’s number one lotto game,” said Davis.

This is the fourth design for the best-known multi-state jackpot game since it was created in 1992.   The last change was in October 2002.  Changes to the current game are expected to be in place by late summer 2005. 

Source: Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL), Des Moines, IA

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