8/24/2005 - 8:00 AM
Powerball to Change August 28 The Louisiana Lottery reminded players today that changes to the multistate, multimillion-dollar jackpot lottery game, Powerball, will take effect with the start of tickets sales on Sunday, Aug. 28 for the Wednesday, Aug. 31 drawing.
In April, the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL), which operates Powerball, publicly announced the changes to meet player demands for more frequent, higher Powerball jackpots.
Beginning with the Aug. 31 drawing, starting jackpots will jump from the current $10 million to $15 million. In addition, the second prize for matching five white ball numbers will increase from $100,000 to $200,000 in cash and the third prize for matching four white ball numbers plus the Powerball number will double from $5,000 to $10,000.
To increase the average jackpot size, two white ball numbers will be added for a total of 55, changing the odds of winning the jackpot from 1 in 120.5 million to 1 in 146.1 million. The overall odds of winning a cash prize will remain virtually the same at 1 in 37. Also, an additional slot will be added to the Power Play wheel and the distribution of multiplier numbers will change to four slots each of 2, 3, 4 and 5. Power Play is an option where a player can elect to spend an additional one-dollar to multiply a nonjackpot prize by two, three, four or five times. With the purchase of the Power Play option, players will have the opportunity to multiply their nonjackpot winnings by up to five to possibly win $1 million.
The Powerball jackpot is advertised as a 30-installment annuity. This payment option will change slightly so that winners receive annual payments that increase each year. Players can also still elect to receive the jackpot as a lump-sum cash payment equal to the cash value of the jackpot prize pool. Jackpot winners have 60 days from the date they claim their prize to choose a payment option.
This is the fourth design for the Powerball game since it was created in 1992. The last change was in October 2002. Since then, six lotteries have joined the game, increasing the game's player base by 12.6 million people.
"As the number of lotteries joining Powerball increases, so does the game's dynamics. These enhancements are designed to keep Powerball as America's No. 1 lotto-style game," said Lottery President Randy Davis.
In order to prepare for the change, the Lottery temporarily suspended the Powerball multidraw feature that allows players to make purchases for future drawings. This feature will be reactivated on Aug. 28 to coincide with the game changes. As with all Louisiana Lottery games, 35 cents of every $1 in Powerball sales is transferred to the Lottery Proceeds Fund. Lottery proceeds are dedicated to the Minimum Foundation Program, which allocates state funds for public education.
The Lottery encourages anyone who thinks they may have a gambling problem or has friends or family who may have a gambling problem to call toll free 1-877-770-7867. Ticket purchasers must be at least 21 years of age.