Powerball gets a new look for New Year

Powerball gets a new look for New Year
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POSTED: Sunday, January 1, 2012 - 9:31am

UPDATED: Sunday, January 1, 2012 - 9:34am

On Jan. 15, the multistate game Powerball is getting a New Year’s makeover, including a starting jackpot that doubles to $40 million, better odds of winning and a $1 million match-5 prize. The cost of a ticket will increase to $2.

“The Lottery’s product mix includes a variety of games with price points, play-styles, odds and top prizes to meet our players’ different preferences,” explained Louisiana Lottery President Rose Hudson. “These new Powerball enhancements, coupled with our recent launch of the multistate game Mega Millions, mean our players have even more choices for playing big jackpot games up to four times a week!”

To produce the added player benefits, four numbers will be removed from the field of red Powerball numbers for a total of 35. The number of white-ball numbers remains the same at 59.

These game matrix changes result in improved odds of winning the jackpot, which will go from 1 in 195.2 million to 1 in 175.2 million. The odds of winning any prize will also improve from 1 in 35 to 1 in 32.

In addition to a $40 million starting jackpot, Powerball’s prize structure will be enriched with a minimum $10 million increase each time the jackpot rolls to produce an average jackpot size of $222 million. In addition, the match-5 prize for matching all five white-ball numbers, but missing the red Powerball number, will increase from $200,000 to $1 million, and the prize for matching only the red Powerball number will increase from $3 to $4.

Power Play, the $1 add-on option to Powerball, will no longer involve a multiplier number. Instead, when players add Power Play to their ticket for an additional $1 per play, they will have the chance to increase any nonjackpot prize won to a set amount. These new Power Play replacement prizes are at least double the original Powerball prize amount and range from $12 for matching only the Powerball number to $2 million for matching all five white-ball numbers.

“With bigger jackpots, better odds of winning and more millionaires, Powerball is uniquely positioned as a premium jackpot game that will live up to its $2 price,” explained Hudson. “For players who prefer a $1 mega jackpot game, Mega Millions is a great choice.”

With the world’s largest starting jackpot, Powerball is currently played in 44 jurisdictions across the nation. The Louisiana Lottery joined Powerball in 1995 and has had 14 jackpot winners to date. The last Powerball game change occurred in January 2009 when Florida joined the game.

In order to prepare for these Powerball game changes, the Lottery has temporarily suspended the multidraw option so that plays cannot be purchased in advance for drawings beyond Jan. 14. The Powerball multidraw option will become fully operational again on Jan. 15, when sales start for the enhanced game version. Also, players who regularly use playslips to purchase their tickets must complete a new slip beginning Jan. 15.

Information and rules on how to play Powerball, prize charts and winning combinations for the new game version will be available on the Lottery’s website, 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.

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