The First Billion-Dollar Jackpot: the First of Many?

Published February 27, 2016 by Lee R

The First Billion-Dollar Jackpot: the First of Many?

More people can buy tickets for Powerball jackpot that is more elusive, though partial wins will now be easier to get.

The recent record-setting $1.6 billion US Powerball jackpot is about to become more...common?

More Buyers

First off, the system for buying lottery tickets has expanded exponentially the amount of participants buying in, drawing entries from all over the world via lottery agents such as The Lottery, Play Huge Lottos and Play USA Lotteries. Still, how does a popular jackpot such as the gigantic Powerball jackpot jump from $800 million to $1.6 overnight—literally?

Rules Change

A recent change to the rules is the reason. In early October, Powerball players were to choose five numbers from among 59, then choose one Powerball number from among 35, with the mathematical odds of getting all numbers right at 1 in 175 million. However, all that changed in October: the new system has people choosing five numbers from among 69, then the one Powerball from 26.

More Smaller Prizes

The purpose of the shift was to increase the amount of small prizes players could win from getting some of the numbers right, while also increasing the odds of getting all the numbers right and winning the jackpot to 1 in 292 million.

This led to the predictions (and increased likelihood) of billion dollar jackpots.

Next Chance for a Billion

For all of you who are disappointed about missing out on a seven figure jackpot, you can now take heart in the fact that there will be more chances.

Since the size of the jackpot is based on the number of Powerball tickets since the last winner, the jackpot only grows, or rolls, each time there is a drawing for which there is no winner.

The two most recent jackpots were a $144M award after nine failed drawings, and the Wednesday jackpot of $1.6B after 19 consecutive failed drawings.

All this adds up to less chance to win the Powerball jackpot combined with a rapid upswing in ticket purchases spurred by the optimization of the selling system online to promise another billion dollar jackpot around sooner than later.


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