Powerball® to Offer Better Odds, Larger Jackpots Beginning Jan. 15

Oct 18, 2011, 11:49 ET from Pennsylvania Lottery

Changes to Advanced Play Start Oct. 22

MIDDLETOWN, Pa., Oct. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- To celebrate Powerball's 20th anniversary in 2012, the game is being redesigned to offer bigger starting jackpots, feature better odds of winning and create more millionaire winners beginning Jan. 15, 2012.

"Powerball is being enriched to bring more value to its players as the game turns 20 years old," said Pennsylvania Lottery Executive Director Todd Rucci. "The improvements will make the game more exciting for players, starting with doubling the opening jackpot from $20 million to $40 million, which will be the largest opening jackpot of any lottery game in American history."

In addition to increasing the opening jackpot, Powerball will increase the second, match-five prize from $200,000 to $1 million, and the lowest prize for matching just the red Powerball will increase from $3 to $4.

Players in the newly designed game will still choose their first five numbers from a pool of 59, but the group of numbers in the Powerball pool will shrink from 39 to 35, producing better overall odds of winning a prize in the game. Players today have a 1-in-35 overall chance of winning a prize, which will improve to 1-in-31.8 in the revamped game. Odds of winning a jackpot prize will improve from 1-in-195 million to 1-in-175 million.

In order to support the game enhancements for players, Powerball tickets will cost $2 each beginning Jan. 15, 2012. The cost to add the Power Play® multiplier feature will remain an extra $1 per play. For that additional $1, players have the chance to win $2 million cash for the match-five prize.

Mega Millions®, instant games and a number of Pennsylvania Lottery terminal-based games will continue to offer exciting options for players who prefer the $1 price point.

To prepare for the changes to the game, the Pennsylvania Lottery must limit Powerball's advance-play feature beginning with the Oct. 22 drawing. Powerball and Power Play tickets normally may be purchased up to 13 weeks (26 draws) in advance. The last opportunity to purchase 26 draws of Powerball in its current form will be Wednesday, Oct. 19. After that drawing, the number of advance draws available for purchase will continue to decrease by one until Jan. 14, the last Powerball drawing under the current game design.

Powerball tickets for the new, enhanced version of the game will go on sale beginning Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012. At that time, players will again be able to purchase up to 13 weeks (26 draws) of advance-play tickets.  

"We are thrilled about the changes coming to Powerball next year and the potential the enhanced game has for growing profits for programs benefitting older Pennsylvanians." said Rucci. "Not only do we anticipate larger prizes for more Pennsylvania Powerball players, but expanded Powerball sales will support funding for programs that provide low-cost prescription drugs, transportation assistance, long-term living services, property tax and rent rebates, and various social, educational and other activities that keep our older residents active and engaged."

Since joining the multi-jurisdictional game in June 2002, the Pennsylvania Lottery has sold 13 jackpot-winning Powerball tickets totaling more than $554 million.

How to play Powerball: Players pay $1 and select five white balls from the first set of 59 numbers plus a single red ball, the Powerball, from a second set of 39 numbers. Players may select their own numbers using a Powerball play slip, 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 features an option called Power Play, for an extra $1 per Powerball play (game).  A player who matches five white balls and purchased Power Play wins $1 million. Other non-jackpot prizes are multiplied by the Power Play number drawn.

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.

For more information, visit www.palottery.com, log in to Facebook and like us at www.facebook.com/pages/PA-lottery/ or follow us at www.twitter.com/palottery

Media contact: Elizabeth Brassell, 717-787-6960

SOURCE Pennsylvania Lottery