Powerball tickets to double in price
Powerball drawings are on Wednesday and Saturdays.
January 2nd, 2012
07:44 AM ET

Powerball tickets to double in price

Lottery players, your chance for millions is about to cost you twice as much.

The Multi-State Lottery Association, which administers the Powerball game, says the price of a single ticket will double to $2 beginning January 15.

"After 20 years at the same price and after watching scratch ticket sales take off with $2, $3, $5, $10, $20, and even $50 tickets, we are going to make the big jump," the association says on its website.

When the price increases, jackpots will start at $40 million, up from $20 million now, and will increase twice as fast, lottery officials say. The average jackpot is predicted to be $255 million, nearly double the current $141 million. The lottery association hopes that will increase sales.

"We know that most folks play for the big jackpots and this game will have more of those more often," it says on its website.

Officials say the odds of winning the jackpot will decrease slightly as the number of red balls, or powerballs, will decrease from 39 to 35.

They also say the pricier game should produce more millionaires, as second prize - for matching the five white balls without the powerball - increases from $200,000 to $1 million.

The Power Play option, which doubles all prizes except the jackpot, will remain, for an additional dollar on the ticket purchase, according to the lottery's website.

Powerball drawings are at 10:59 p.m. ET Wednesdays and Saturdays. Powerball is available in 42 states plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Officials say the cost of a single ticket for the MegaMillions game, drawn on Tuesday and Fridays, will remain at $1. Forty states plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands participate in MegaMillions.
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Filed under: Gambling • Lotto
soundoff (289 Responses)
  1. Harpman

    It's just as good not to play. Your odds of winning are about the same.

    January 2, 2012 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Jimmy

      That's ridiculous harpman. You can play or don't play. It's your choice. But if you don't play, your odds of winning are zero.

      January 2, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Floyd

      You are zero anyway as you will not win. It is a scam. Only winners are linked to the controllers. They know whom will win.

      January 2, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • w0wie

      Your odds of winning if you DO play are zero. You will get hit by lighting exactly 18 times before you win, so it's best to stay inside, or maybe just take a math class.

      January 2, 2012 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      "You can't win if you don't play". How many times have we heard that... yes, there are plenty of other things to throw money away on or invest or whatever, but a coupel bucks a week is not going to handicap the average player. Agreed, if you are playing to try and make money, you are stupid. But if you are playing for the hopes and dreams that you MAY just have that one winning ticket, that is exciting and worth a couple bucks a week.

      January 2, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • chas

      I love love love love love greed greed and more greed/ For a couple dollars I get my what ifs greed taken care of. I am playing to get the big one say $200+ million or quarter of a billion. The girls a various women I would get wow.

      January 2, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ravi

      Exactly. Don't play with rent money, food money or school money. Play with your beer money!

      January 2, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Curlee

      The average player spends much more than "a couple bucks a week" on lottery tickets. Powerball would be out of business if that is all the average player spent.

      January 3, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  2. someoneelse

    Hell, make the tickets cheaper and give out more 1 million dollar prizes (and no prize over 5 million). No one needs to ever win more than that, and with this, more people could. That's not part of the 'American dream' fantasy though, so it will never happen.

    January 2, 2012 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Sam I Am

      And who made you the authority on what people "need"? That is nothing but your own ego and arrogance.

      January 2, 2012 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Kana

      That's the T-ball mentality, everybody wins and there are no losers.

      January 2, 2012 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
    • kixxie

      I like your idea, but the American people are too greedy, they want it all. Kind of shameful huh? 🙁

      January 2, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Rick1948

    So, they are going to jack up the price by double and reduce the chances of winning by ten percent. Wonder whose pocket the extra money is going in?

    January 2, 2012 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
    • alittlepiggy

      The balls are going from 39 to 35. That will increase your chance, not decrease.

      January 2, 2012 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
  4. Abnguy

    wouldn't your odds go up if the power ball goes from 39 to 35?

    January 2, 2012 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Question4U

      Odds decrease. Chance of winning increases. Inverse relationship. Odd's of winning, 1:1, 1:2, 1:3......

      January 2, 2012 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  5. richard miller

    Jump on the band wagon to screw the consumer....sounds like verizon and the airline industry....who says greed isn't king in America!

    January 2, 2012 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
  6. Don

    I will not buy Powerball anymore. I think I like the odds of having two lotto numbers picks for $2 with Mega Million than with Powerball's one lotto number pick for $2.

    January 2, 2012 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Question4U

      Exactly. Since all but two States sell both games, they accomplish the same objective.

      January 2, 2012 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
  7. Mabel

    Greed.

    January 2, 2012 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Mr. Money

      I will stop buying lottery tickets, if you will stop buying make-up, one sin is greed the other is vanity.

      January 2, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Kate

    The odds of winning this seem nearly impossible at present – so winning more (if that ever would happen) is now even more doubtful.

    January 2, 2012 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
  9. Ishida Mitsunari

    I'll still continue to buy one or two lottery tickets a year. It's fun to have that bit of rush and marginal entertainment once in a while. As long as you consider buying lottery tickets to be an entertainment expense and treat it like you would treat any other form of gambling that relies purely on chance, I don't see any harm in it. What's sad is when people have gambling problems and actively make choices between buying lottery tickets and putting gas in their cars or food on the table.

    January 2, 2012 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
  10. jdun

    I will either stop playing that game or only buy half the tickets I normally buy (2). The odds are so bad that it is like being hit by lightning not once, but like 11 times? Why not make a game that has a lot of winners instead of 1 big one?

    January 2, 2012 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike Rotchitches

      It's because marketing research shows that when lotto jackpots reach higher values, more people (who don't typically play) buy tickets.

      January 2, 2012 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
  11. Mike Rotchitches

    Ironically, if a person ends up buying 1/2 as many lotto tickets, his odds of winning are not decreased by a significant amount. Meaning that if you buy two tickets your odd of winning don't double. Your odds of winning the Powerball jackpot, for each ticket, is 1 in 195 milliion; buying two tickets is 2 in 195 million. Thus, buying half the amount of tickets don't reduce your odds of winning by much. Hopefully, this price increase will discourage people from throwing money away on such low yield gambling.

    January 2, 2012 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Sam I Am

      Are you unable to do math? Of COURSE your odds double if you buy 2 tickets instead of one. Not that your odds are GOOD at that point, but anyone who knows 5th grade math can see you are wrong.

      January 2, 2012 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
    • alittlepiggy

      You went from 1 to 2. That is a double.

      January 2, 2012 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Hugh Jass©

      Actually Sam, if you buy two tickets, EACH ticket has the exact same odds 1:195,000,000. You have not doubled your chances of winning down to 1:97,500,000.

      January 2, 2012 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Question4U

      You have doubled your 'chance' of winnings (assuming #'s are not exactly the same). You have not cut the odds in 'half'.

      January 2, 2012 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
  12. phooeypapa

    Everybody waste some of their money in one way or another. It may be overpriced drinks in a bar, overpriced dinner in a restaurant, overpriced movies, etc. I love people with the mind set " Behave, as I want you to behave."

    January 2, 2012 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
  13. phooeypapa

    Instead of buying 2 tickets I will just purchase one. I might be stupid for playing in the first place, but my stupidity only goes so far.

    January 2, 2012 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
  14. jorge washinsen

    A sucker is born every minute.Gimmie a power play and a cash 5.

    January 2, 2012 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
  15. Why Use Facts

    I think the numbers they based this decision on is thinking they will keep the same number of players. I think more people will go to the Mega Millions where it is still only $1. But hey, they can do whatever they want with the voluntary tax on the mathematically challenged.

    January 2, 2012 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
    • jorge washinsen

      Their thinking is, double up and catch up,akin to our Congress' way of thinking, I would say.

      January 2, 2012 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
    • jorge washinsen

      They are betting people are more stupid than we think.

      January 2, 2012 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
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