Last Saturday’s Powerball drawing marked the two-year anniversary of the current Powerball game design, and the improved features have paid off big for Missouri players. Since the changes two years ago, two Missouri players have won huge jackpot prizes, including a $71.5 million jackpot sold for the Christmas day drawing, and a $293.7 million jackpot sold in November 2012. In addition, 25 players have won $1 million by matching all five white-ball numbers drawn, and one additional player won $2 million by using the Power Play feature.
“The redesign has done exactly what was intended, which is make more winners and offer bigger jackpots,” said May Scheve Reardon, executive director of the Missouri Lottery. “Our Powerball sales are up $57 million, but even more important, our profits from the new Powerball have generated 31.9 percent more in proceeds for public education.”
The Multi-State Lottery Association, which governs Powerball, predicted at least 300 millionaires would be created per year nationwide, and Powerball has delivered. In the last 24 months, Powerball created 1,013 millionaires, an average of more than 500 millionaires per year or nine millionaires per week.
By implementing a larger starting jackpot that grows more quickly, Powerball has created the four largest jackpots in the game’s 20-plus-year history in the past two years alone. The increased Match 5 prize of $1 million, or $2 million if the ticket includes Power Play®, gives players more chances to become a Powerball millionaire. Also, as a result of reducing overall odds, more than 160 million players in the United States have won a Powerball prize in the last two years, including 34 multimillion-dollar jackpot prize winners.
Powerball jackpots start at $40 million and roll until the jackpot is won. Players win by matching the five white-ball numbers from one to 59, and the red Powerball number, from one to 35. There are eight other ways to win non-jackpot prizes ranging from $4 to $1 million. The overall odds of winning a prize in the game are approximately 1 in 31.