DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Lottery players will have more chances of winning huge jackpots as the Powerball game switches to three draws a week for bigger prizes and increased sales.
The change begins on Monday, August 23rd, and marks the first time the game has expanded beyond two weekly draws since it was launched 29 years ago.
May Scheve Reardon, executive director of the Missouri Lottery and current head of Powerball, said the change aims to create bigger prizes across the board. Although many people spend $ 2 on a Powerball ticket when the prices are lower, sales typically go up when jackpots hit $ 400 million or more, she said.
In part, that’s because after the recent jackpots topping $ 1.5 billion, even life-changing prizes can seem comparatively puny.
“Jackpot fatigue is real, and by lengthening the days of the draws, we’ll be able to raise bigger jackpots faster, get more people interested in the game and pay more money to our beneficiaries,” said Reardon.
Powerball, regulated by the Multi-State Lottery Association based in Urbandale, Iowa, is played in 45 states plus Washington, DC, the US Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. In fiscal 2021, the game had sales of more than $ 4 billion.
MegaMillions, the other lottery game offered in most of the country, is currently exploring ways to “stay in consumer awareness,” but has no plans to add any more draws, said Pat McDonald, president of the Mega Millions Consortium and director of the Ohio lottery.
Powerball will also add a new feature to the game called Double Play, which costs an additional dollar and offers the chance to win additional prizes of up to $ 10 million. Double Play will initially be offered in Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Washington, and Puerto Rico.
“We’ll be able to sell more and more people will play and there will be more opportunities to win,” said Reardon.
The chance of winning a Powerball jackpot will remain extremely slim at one in 292.2 million.
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