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Powerball Lottery Being Overhauled With Bigger Prizes, More Expensive Ticket

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Powerball lottery game, some changes are being made — including an increase in the ticket price.

Starting January 15th, the odds will be better for Powerball.  Pennsylvania Lottery spokeswoman Elizabeth Brassell says the Powerball pool of white balls will shrink from 39 to 35, increasing the odds of winning.

And if you do win, prizes will be higher.

“We’re doubling the opening jackpot from $20 million to $40 million,” she tells KYW Newsradio.  “We’re also increasing the second prize from $200,000 to a million dollars, and even the lowest prize for matching just the red Powerball will increase from $3 to $4.”

Ticket prices will go up, from $1 to $2, to help pay for the changes.

Brassel expects more winners with the new odds, and while lottery sales always soar when prizes reach the hundreds of millions of dollars, she expects the changes and more frequent payouts to be popular.

The Powerball game is sold in 44 states, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware.


Reported by Lynne Adkins, KYW Newsradio 1060


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  • More Winners?

    Assuming the change from 39 to 35 is red balls and not white as stated in the article, as there are 59 white balls and 39 red balls currently, your odds are increaseing on a single ticket, but decreaseing on a $2 play.
    Currently, your odds on a $1 ticket are 1:195,249,054 which puts the odds on a $2 play at 1:97,624,527. With this change, the odds of winning on a $2 ticket are 1:175,223,510. Slightly better odds for one ticket, much worse odds for $2.
    Only if those playing the game continue to buy the same number of tickets for twice as much money(unlikely), will they have more winners. If those playing the game continue spending the same amount of money for half the number of tickets, they’ll have less winners.

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