Pricier Powerball tickets on sale
Posted January 15, 2012
Raleigh, N.C. — Tickets for the new version of Powerball went on sale Sunday morning, which officials say will give players the chance to play for bigger jackpots and providing more chances to win $1 million or more.
The changes, approved last June by lotteries that make up the Multi-State Lottery Association, mean the price of Powerball tickets went from $1 to $2 each.
Alice Garland, executive director of the North Carolina Education Lottery, said the new game should produce more $1 million winners because the prizes for matching the five white balls in the game will now be $1 million for a regular Powerball ticket and $2 million for those who buy a Power Play ticket for $3.
If the new game had been in effect during 2011, 17 North Carolina Powerball players would have won $1 million rather than $200,000, and nine players would have won $2 million rather than $1 million, Garland said.
“Powerball jackpots not only will start bigger and grow faster, but we believe Powerball players here will like the much larger prizes they get for matching five white balls,” she said in a statement. “The improvements in the game should make it more popular and lead to higher Powerball sales and consequently more money for education in North Carolina.”
The odds of winning a jackpot will be one in 175 million, as opposed to the current odds of 1 in 195 million. The odds of winning a prize in the overall game will also get better, moving to 1 in 31.8, down from 1 in 35.
The better odds result from a change in the numbers that can be drawn in the game. The numbers available for the Powerball will be reduced from 39 to 35. Powerball players will still choose their first five numbers from a pool of 1 to 59.