Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Mr. Lucky

Mr. Lucky

Powerball changes coming, including the cost to play

Posted: 27 Jun 2011 02:29 PM PDT

Big changes are coming to Powerball.

ChiChi, one of the regular readers of this blog,  discovered the upcoming changes and I just confirmed them with the Florida Lottery.

Jacqueline Barreiros, director of Public Affairs, said the changes begin Jan 15. and include an increase in the cost of the tickets but a chance to win more money. It will cost $2 to play Powerball or $3 if you add Power Play.

The changes coincide with the 20th anniversary of the game. Powerball launched in 15 states in 1992 with a guaranteed starting jackpot of $2 million.

Today it is played in 42 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The starting jackpot is $20 million.

The game was first offered in Florida in January 2009.

When the changes take place in January, the starting jackpot will be $40 million.

It will also be a little easier to win the jackpot. There will still be 59 base numbers (the white balls), but the Powerball numbers (red balls) will drop from 39 to 35. That reduced the odds of winning the grand prize from about 1 in 195 million to about 1 in 175 million.

There are nine ways to win and most of the lower level prizes will remain the same.

The biggest change will be the prize for getting the five white balls. It will grow from $200,000 to $1 million. The other change will be the prize for getting just the Powerball, which increases from $3 to $4.

Power Play also is changing. Instead of a variable multiplier of 2X to 5X, there will be fixed multiplers for specific prizes, Barreiros said. For instance, Power Play will double the $1 million prize for getting the five white balls.

While I have been a big fan of Power Play, the change to that portion of the game makes it a lot less desirable.


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