Changes Coming to Powerball Early Next Year

Powerball turns 20 next year and there will be some changes in how the game is played, and how much it will cost for a ticket.    The goal is to create more millionaire winners and increase the odds of winning a prize in Powerball.  

Elizabeth Brassell, spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Lottery, says the number of balls in the red Powerball pool will be reduced from 39 to 35.   In addition, the opening jackpot will double to 40 million dollars and the second, match five jackpots will increase from 200 thousand to 1 million dollars.  

Brassell says odds today of winning any prize are 1 in 35.  She says that will improve to 1 in 31.8, and the odds of winning a jackpot prize will improve from 1 in 195 million to 1 in 175 million.

Brassell says not only do they anticipate larger prizes for more Pennsylvania Powerball players, they also think the enhanced game will expand Powerball sales.  She says that will contribute more to the bottom line of those programs for older Pennsylvanians the lottery was created to fund.

When the changes take effect, a ticket to play Powerball will cost $2. Tickets for the new version of the game go on sale January 15th.

In anticipation of the changes, the lottery has to start limiting the advance play feature starting this month.  Players now can purchase up to 13 weeks, or 26 drawings, in advance.  October 19th is the last opportunity to purchase 26 draws in advance.   Drawings are held on Wednesdays and Saturdays.  Powerball is a multi-state game.