Saturday, January 14, 2012

Mr. Lucky

Mr. Lucky

One last drawing before Powerball changes

Posted: 13 Jan 2012 07:39 AM PST

Okay folks, this is your last chance to plunk down a dollar for a Powerball ticket.

Don’t worry, Powerball isn’t going away. But beginning Sunday, the price of a ticket doubles to $2.

Based on talking to people at the checkout line, that is going to catch a lot of players by surprise.

The changes coincide with the 20th anniversary of the game, which was first offered in Florida in January 2009.

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 with a starting jackpot is $20 million.

With the changes, 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 reduces the odds of winning the grand prize from about 1 in 195 million to about 1 in 175 million.

The biggest change will be the prize for getting the five white balls. It will grow from $200,000 to $1 million. That’s huge, because the odds of getting the five white balls is about 1 in 5 million. The only other prize increasing is for getting just the Powerball, which increases from $3 to $4.

Power Play will still cost an extra dollar, but there will no longer be a variable multiplier.

In most cases, Power Play will double non-jackpot prizes, including the $1 million prize for getting the five white balls. It will multiply the $10,000 prize for getting four white balls and Powerball to $40,000 and will triple the $4 prizes for getting just the Powerball or getting the Powerball and one number.

I’ve been a fan of Power Play, but with the changes I may pass on it.


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