Pennsylvania Lottery Reminds Players to Play Responsibly
MIDDLETOWN, Pa., Feb. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Excitement is building for the Feb. 11 Powerball drawing, which has an estimated annuity value of $310 million. If a jackpot-winning ticket is purchased in our state, it would be the largest prize ever awarded by the Pennsylvania Lottery.
The current jackpot is the fifth highest in Powerball's history. The jackpot's lump-sum cash value of $193.4 million is the highest cash prize offered in the game's history.
Because demand for tickets will continue to rise over the next two days, players are advised to purchase Powerball tickets early to avoid the last-minute rush. Tickets for Saturday's Powerball drawing will be available until 9:59 p.m. Saturday at more than 9,000 Lottery retailers statewide.
"We're really excited that the enhanced version of Powerball is certainly delivering on its promise to offer bigger jackpots and more excitement to our players," said Todd Rucci, Lottery's executive director. "Last time Powerball grew above $300 million, in August 2007, it took 17 drawings to get there. This time we've hit $310 million in just 13 drawings, and we've already awarded two $1 million prizes since the game changes took effect."
The current Powerball jackpot has been growing since Dec. 28, 2011. Over the six drawings prior to the Jan. 15 Powerball game changes, sales averaged $1.7 million per drawing; over the seven drawings following the game changes, sales have averaged nearly $4.4 million per drawing.
"While it's still too early to draw definitive conclusions about the impact of the game changes on Powerball sales overall, we are pleased with initial results," Rucci said.
"What's most exciting to us is that the $41.2 million in sales for this Powerball run have generated $12.3 million in funding for programs benefiting Pennsylvania's older residents."
Rucci encouraged players to enjoy the jackpot fever, while also remembering to play responsibly.
The largest prize ever awarded by the Pennsylvania Lottery is a $115.5 million Super 7 jackpot from the April 26, 1989, drawing that was shared among 14 winning tickets. The largest Pennsylvania Lottery prize awarded to a single winning ticket was the $110.3 million Powerball jackpot from May 8, 2002, claimed by a New Jersey couple.
The last time Powerball offered a cash jackpot this high was the Nov. 2, 2011, drawing, which awarded a $151.7 million lump-sum cash prize to a single winning ticket sold in Connecticut.
Pennsylvania has sold 14 jackpot-winning tickets since joining Powerball, most recently awarding a $37.6 million cash prize from the Nov. 19, 2011, drawing to a Luzerne County man.
How to play Powerball: Players pay $2 and select five white balls from the first set of 59 numbers plus a single red ball, the Powerball, from a second set of 35 numbers. Players may select their own numbers using a Powerball playslip, or they may opt for computer-selected quick picks. Players must match all five numbers drawn plus the Powerball number to win the jackpot. There also are eight additional ways for players to win a cash prize.
Powerball tickets are sold in 44 participating jurisdictions. Drawings are held on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
About the Pennsylvania Lottery: The Pennsylvania Lottery remains the only state lottery that designates all its proceeds to programs that benefit older residents. Since its inception in 1971, the Pennsylvania Lottery has contributed nearly $21.5 billion to programs that include property tax and rent rebates; free transit and reduced-fare shared rides; the low-cost prescription drug programs PACE and PACENET; long-term living services; and the 52 Area Agencies on Aging, including full- and part-time senior centers throughout the state. The Pennsylvania Lottery reminds its players to play responsibly. Players must be 18 or older.
Media contact: Allison Roberts, 717-702-8008
SOURCE Pennsylvania Lottery