December 17, 2008
Powerball Changes Include Bigger Jackpots, Better Overall Odds
Powerball, the world’s most well-known Lottery game, is getting recharged in 2009! Starting Jan. 4, sales of the new and improved Powerball game will begin, and the first drawing with the changes will take place on Jan. 7. Enhancements to the new game include:
- A new minimum jackpot of $20 million that will increase by no less than $5 million per draw;
- Bigger jackpots, including average jackpots of $141 million;
- An automatic $1 million prize for matching five white balls and using the Power Play feature*;
- Better overall chances to win and more prizes.
“This will be the fifth re-design in the Powerball game since it started in 1992,” said Larry Jansen, executive director for the Missouri Lottery. “Powerball has stayed the same for the past three years. The Florida Lottery is joining Powerball, so it is good time to make changes and recharge it.”
The addition of the Florida Lottery will bring the total number of members to 32 –30 state lotteries, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands.
“During the past year or so, we haven’t seen the large jackpots that are hallmark in the game,” Jansen added. “These changes should increase the jackpots and create a lot of excitement.”
Like the current game, the new game will remain $1 per play and an additional $1 to use the Power Play feature. The new drawing will include four more white-ball numbers, from 55 to 59, and three less red Powerball numbers, from 42 to 39. This will change the chances of winning the jackpot from 1 in 146.1 million to 1 in 195.2 million. The overall odds of winning any prize in the game will drop from 1 in 36.6 to 1 in 35.1.
“Missouri has had the second-most Powerball jackpot winners out of all the members,” Jansen added. “We’ve had 25 players win more than $1.2 billion in jackpots alone in the past 16 years.”
More details on the new Powerball game can be found within the Powerball Fact Sheet
The Missouri Lottery generates nearly $1 billion a year in sales and contributes more than $265 million annually to Missouri public education programs, including the A+ Scholarship Program, the Virtual Schools program, Special Education Excess Costs, the Vocational Rehabilitation Program and Future Minority Teacher Scholarships. In fiscal year 2008, the Missouri Lottery ranked sixth in percentage increase in sales among the 42 United States lotteries.
* All Powerball prizes are set with the exception of the jackpot, which grows until someone wins it. The set-prize amounts are based on an expected number of winners. In some rare cases, Powerball prizes may be paid on a pari-mutuel basis, which will be lower than the published prize levels.