Enriched $2 Game Also Benefits Players With More Chances To Become A Millionaire; Change begins January 15th, 2012
– As Powerball® prepares to celebrate its 20th year in 2012, the game is being redesigned to bring more value to its players. Jackpots will start at $40 million and the jackpot is being made easier to win. The overall odds of winning any prize are also easier, and there are more chances to win a prize of at least $1 million cash. The ticket price also will change, moving from $1 to $2.
Since getting its start in 15 states in April 1992 with jackpots starting at $2 million, Powerball has grown into one of the world’s biggest and most recognizable lottery games. Today, the game is played in 44 jurisdictions across the nation, with players buying more than $3 billion annually in Powerball tickets.
“West Virginia has been fortunate to have had several very large Powerball jackpot winners, and we are hopeful that the new enhancements to the game will create even more millionaires in the Mountain State,” said John Musgrave, West Virginia Lottery Director.
The enriched Powerball game will debut on January 15th, 2012. Tickets for the 20th anniversary game will cost $2 and the Power Play® multiplier feature will still be available for an extra $1 per play. For that extra $1, players will have the chance to win $2 million cash for the Match 5 prize instead of the current $1 Million prize for matching five white balls.
Players in the newly designed game will still choose their first five numbers from a pool of 59. But the group of numbers in the Powerball pool will shrink from 39 to 35, producing better overall odds of winning a prize in the game. Players today have a 1 in 35 overall chance of winning, which will improve to 1 in 31.8 in the revamped game. Even better, Powerball jackpots will start at $40 million which is double the current starting jackpot of $20 million.
“While we understand the price increase may have some affect on buying decisions, players will still have the opportunity to purchase the Mega Millions® jackpot game, Hot Lotto® and other in-state lotto and Instant ticket Scratch-off games at the $1 price point,” said Musgrave.
The new Powerball game will still offer players nine ways to win prizes, with its second prize moving up to $1 million in cash from the current $200,000, and the lowest prize level (for those who match just the Powerball®) being elevated to $4 from $3.
Since Powerball’s inception on April 19, 1992, the game has generated approximately $33 billion in sales for lotteries that the game supports. About 25 to 35 percent of that amount goes to good causes such as education, senior programs, local towns and the environment; 50 percent is paid in cash prizes and 6 percent goes back to local communities in the form of retailer compensation. Participating Powerball jurisdictions are expected to generate even more money for those good causes by selling the new Powerball game.
Powerball drawings are (delete held) Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, 9:59 p.m. Central Standard Time, 8:59 p.m. Mountain Standard Time and 7:59 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. For more information about Powerball please visit www.powerball.com.
The 44 U.S. lotteries where Powerball is available are: Arizona Lottery, Arkansas Lottery, Colorado Lottery, Connecticut Lottery Corporation, D.C. Lottery & CGCB, Delaware State Lottery, Florida Lottery, Georgia Lottery Corporation, Hoosier Lottery, Idaho Lottery, Illinois Lottery, Iowa Lottery, Kansas Lottery, Kentucky Lottery Corporation, Louisiana Lottery Corporation, Maine Lottery, Maryland Lott, Massachusetts Lottery, Michigan Lottery, Minnesota State Lottery, Missouri Lottery, Montana Lottery, Nebraska Lottery, New Hampshire Lottery Commission, New Jersey Lottery, New Mexico Lottery Authority, New York Lottery, North Carolina Education Lottery, North Dakota Lottery, Ohio Lottery, Oklahoma Lottery, Oregon Lottery, Pennsylvania Lottery, Rhode Island Lottery, South Carolina Education Lottery, South Dakota Lottery, Tennessee Education Lottery, Texas Lottery, U.S. Virgin Islands Lottery, Vermont Lottery, Virginia Lottery, Washington Lottery, Wisconsin Lottery and the West Virginia Lottery.
Powerball® is owned by the Multi-State Lottery Association which is a government-benefit, non-profit association owned and operated by 33 member lotteries. MUSL currently coordinates six multi-state games in the United States.