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Powerball to feature more winners, higher jackpots

by Oregon Lottery | Sep 28, 2015

CONTACT: Chuck Baumann
Phone: 503-540-1015
Cell: 503-510-7829

September 28, 2015 - Salem, Oregon 

An updated version of the Powerball game makes its debut Sunday, Oct. 4, with changes designed to continue delivering big jackpots while increasing other significant prizes in the game. The first drawing with the new features will be Wednesday, Oct. 7.

Plays will still cost $2 each, and there will be better overall odds of winning any prize, a big jump up to $50,000 for the game’s third prize level, and a chance for players to multiply most winnings by up to 10 times when the jackpot is $150 million or less.

“Powerball has been revamped several times in its 23-year history to continue to deliver the big jackpots people expect from the game, but also give players the chance to win other significant prizes,” said Oregon Lottery Spokesman Chuck Baumann. “Our latest changes are designed to continue that trend and build in several new features.”

Since getting its start in April 1992 in 15 states with jackpots that started at a guaranteed $2 million, Powerball has grown into one of the world’s biggest and most recognizable lottery games. Today it’s sold by 47 lotteries, with players buying more than $4 billion in Powerball tickets each year. The biggest jackpot in the game to date was a $590.5 million prize won by a Florida woman in May 2013.

With the game’s success comes demand for innovation to keep things fresh. Roberts said that the latest changes are the eighth revamp of the game.

“Players have told us they’d like to see new features in Powerball, and we needed a redesign to make that possible,” said Baumann.

Beginning Oct. 4, there will be changes to both sets of numbers that players use. Players will choose their first five numbers from a set of 69 (currently 59) white balls and their Powerball from a pool of 26 (currently 35) red balls. The end result will be better overall odds of winning any prize with extended odds of winning the jackpot.

Powerball jackpots will continue to start at $40 million and the game’s second prize for matching the first five numbers but missing the Powerball will still be $1 million. But the game’s third prize level is getting a five-fold increase from $10,000 to $50,000 for matching four of the first five numbers and the Powerball. 

The game’s Power Play option also will get a big expansion with a 10X feature when jackpots in the game are $150 million or less. Currently, players can multiply many prizes by up to five times by adding the Power Play option to their purchase for an extra $1 per play. Under the new design, the Power Play option will be expanded to multiply most prizes (except the jackpot and Match 5 level) by up to 10 times whenever the game’s advertised annuitized jackpot is $150 million or less. The Match 5 prize of $1 million will continue to double to $2 million with the Power Play option added.

Powerball drawings will continue to be held at 7:59 p.m. Pacific every Wednesday and Saturday.

Since the Oregon Lottery began selling tickets on April 25, 1985, it has earned nearly $10 billion for economic development, public education, state parks and watershed enhancements.