U.S. Powerball Changes Coming This WeekPublished October 13, 2015 by Arthur M
From this week, there will be some changes to the way that the U.S. Powerball lottery works, which will lead to more smaller wins, and hopefully more players.
The U.S. Powerball is arguably the most popular lottery in the world, and it certainly features some of the biggest wins, with a starting jackpot of $40,000,000 that can sometimes roll over to ten times that level or more.
However, from Sunday 4th October, for the draw on Wednesday, 7th October, the way the lottery works will be changing, to make it easier to win a prize, but less likely to win the jackpot. The reasoning behind this is that as jackpots roll over and get to $100 million or more, an increasing number of players buy tickets, but the operators want to attract more sales when the jackpot is at a lower level.
Under the new format, players will have to pick 5 white balls from 69, as opposed to the current 59, plus 1 red ball from 29, which is a change from the 35 red ones up until now. As any correct red ball wins a prize, the odds of having a winning ticket go from approximately 1 in 32 down to 1 in 25.
But this also makes it more difficult to pick 5 correct white balls, with the chance of scooping the jackpot going from around 1 in 175,000,000 to 1 in 292,000,000.
The optional PowerPlay, which multiplies wins by between 2x and 5x is also changing, with this extra $1 bet now equalling a prize of 10x the face value when the jackpot is $150,000,000 or less.
Wider Appeal to Players
Commenting on the changes, South Carolina Education Lottery Director Paula Harper Bethea said ''People say 'I don't play until it's $250 or $300 million.' And I always say to that , 'Well what could you not do with $40 million?''' She has also said ''The positives are many, and we feel the possibility of more overall winners will appeal to our players.''
Despite the changes, players from around the world are still able to purchase tickets for this and many other big draws via online lottery agents like Play USA Lotteries and TheLotter.