Powerball changes to take place this Sunday
BOISE, Idaho – Powerball, the most widely played lottery game in Idaho and North America, is set to undergo significant changes to the game structure and price this weekend after Saturday night’s $66 million draw. The changes include creating better odds, bigger starting jackpots and creating more million dollar winning experiences.
“For many years, players have been asking for more million dollar winning experiences while maintaining the ability to continue to play for large, multi-million dollar jackpots,” explained Jeff Anderson, Idaho Lottery Director. “Starting this Sunday, we’ll set out on a course to do just that, create more millionaires in Idaho. If these changes had been in place over the past two years, the Idaho Lottery would have created seven more millionaires.”
The Powerball changes will begin immediately after the draw closes on Saturday, January 14, 2012 at 7:55 p.m.. The Idaho Lottery will suspend sales on Powerball for approximately eight hours while the transition to the upgraded version of Powerball occurs.
The most significant prize upgrade will occur when players match only the first five numbers and not the Powerball itself. This “Match 5” prize level is currently $200,000, but beginning with the first draw on January 18, 2012, that prize will become an automatic $1,000,000.
Additional changes to the game include a reduction in the number of different Powerballs from the current 39 to 35, improving the odds of winning to 1 in 31.8 and the overall odds of winning jackpot improve to 1 in 175.2 million. Jackpots will now start at $40 million and increase by a guaranteed minimum of $10 million per draw until it is won.
These game changes only apply to Powerball. Mega Millions, Hot Lotto, and Wild Card, Idaho’s other multi-state jackpot draw games, remain unchanged.