CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The revamped Powerball® game will go on sale on Sunday, October 4, at West Virginia Lottery retailers. The latest update is designed to improve the chance of bigger jackpots while upping other significant prizes in the game as well.
“As a result of the 2009 Cross-Sell Agreement that allowed all U.S. Lottery jurisdictions to begin selling both the Powerball and Mega Millions games, the playing population for Powerball® increased from 129 million to more than 307 million today, making this game change overdue,” said West Virginia Lottery Director John Musgrave. “The feedback from players is clear, they want bigger jackpots. Nationally, sales for the Powerball game during the past year were down roughly 18% due to the lack of attractive jackpots. The adjustments being made to the game promise to help remedy that, enhance prizes throughout the prize structure, and offer players even better overall odds of winning any prize.”
Players will choose the first five numbers from a set of 69 white balls (up from 59) and the Powerball from a group of 26 red balls (down from 35). This will improve the overall odds of winning any prize (1 in 24.87 vs. the current 1 in 31.8), while creating longer odds of winning the jackpot (1 in 292,201,338 vs. the current 1 in 175,223,510).
Powerball® tickets will remain at the $2 price point. Jackpots will continue to start at $40 million and the game’s second prize for matching the first five numbers will still be $1 million, however the game’s third level prize will see a five-fold increase from $10,000 to $50,000 for matching four of the first five numbers and the Powerball.
The $1 Power Play® option will also be expanded to include a 10x feature when jackpots are $150 million or less. The higher multiplier means players who match four numbers and the red Powerball and play the Power Play® could win up to $500,000. The match 5 prize with the Powerplay® option will remain at $2 million.
New Powerball® play slips will be available at retailers beginning October 4. The first drawing with the revamped matrix will be on October 7. Please note that old Powerball play slips will no longer work following the Saturday, October 3 drawing.
About Powerball® Powerball is played in 45 U.S. lottery jurisdictions. Powerball is a state lottery game facilitate by the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL), a government-benefit, non-profit association owned and operated by 33 member U.S. lotteries. MUSL currently coordinates six multi-state games in the United States. Powerball® drawings are Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10:59 p.m. Eastern Time. For more information about Powerball®, please visit www.powerball.com. Powerball® and Power Play® are registered trademarks of the Multi-State Lottery Association.