Powerball Multidraw Suspension Began in Preparation for 2009 Game Changes
In order to prepare for Powerball game changes coming Jan. 4, 2009, the Louisiana Lottery Corporation announced that it would temporarily and progressively suspend the multidraw purchase option for Powerball tickets, beginning Oct. 22, 2008. The multidraw option allows players to purchase plays for 20, 10, five, four, three or two advance, consecutive drawings.
The Powerball multidraw option will be suspended according to the following schedule and will become fully operational again on Jan. 4, 2009, when sales start for the new game version:
Last Day to Purchase
Wed., Oct. 22 by 9 p.m.
Wed., Nov. 26 by 9 p.m.
Sat., Dec. 13 by 9 p.m.
Wed., Dec. 17 by 9 p.m.
Sat., Dec. 20 by 9 p.m.
Wed., Dec. 24 by 9 p.m.
In August, the 31 lotteries that operate the multistate game, Powerball, announced game changes designed to create larger, faster growing jackpots and more millionaires.
One of the most noticeable changes is the amount of the starting jackpot, which will jump from $15 million to $20 million, making it the world's largest starting jackpot for a lotto-style game. In addition, the average jackpot will increase from an expected $95.5 million to $141 million, and the percentage of prize funds dedicated to the jackpot prize will also increase.
To grow the average jackpot size, four white ball numbers will be added to the game's field for a total of 59, and three red Powerball numbers will be removed for a total of 39. These changes to Powerball's game design will lengthen the odds of winning the jackpot from 1 in 146.1 million to 1 in 195.2 million.
At the same time, the overall odds of winning any prize will decrease from 1 in 37 to 1 in 35. With the change in overall odds, the game is expected to produce an additional 3 million prize winners each year.
Powerball is played by choosing five white ball numbers and one red Powerball number. The game offers nine prize levels for matching various combinations, starting at $3 for matching only the red Powerball number. The jackpot is won by matching all six numbers. Drawings are held Wednesday and Saturday nights at 9:59 p.m.
Another change to the game will be a guaranteed Power Play multiplier of "5" on match-5 Powerball prizes. The usual prize for matching five white ball numbers is $200,000, but with the Power Play option, the resulting cash prize would be $1 million. The 2x through 5x will still be available on the seven lower prize levels. For an additional $1 dollar per play, Powerball players can add the Power Play option to their ticket for the chance to multiply any nonjackpot prize up to five times.
These changes will take effect on Jan. 4, 2009, when Florida joins Powerball, adding a population of 18.8 million. The first drawing with the new matrix will be Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2009.
The Louisiana Lottery joined Powerball in 1995 and has had 13 jackpot winners to date. More information about Powerball, including how to play, past winners and winning numbers, can be found on the Lottery's Web site, www.louisianalottery.com. Players are advised to sign the back of their tickets for security purposes immediately after purchasing. The Lottery also encourages responsible play and urges anyone with a gambling problem to call toll free 1-877-770-7867 for help.