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. Joe Mama

    How's your stock portfolio done the last 3 years?

    Simply reciting stupid crap your grampa told you doesn't make you sound intelligent, or even caustic, just ignorant. Lottery tickets are one of three things: an investment (albeit a risky one), entertainment, or a drug of choice for addictive personalities. Which of the 3 is at play depends entirely on the usage pattern and mindset of the purchaser, and so to generalize about purchasers shows a total lack of knowledge about games of chance. I, for one, would much rather spend a few bucks at a remote chance of never having to work again; I just choose to forego Starbucks to finance that "investment" opportunity.

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

    The idiot tax just doubled.
    Go buy your tickets folks!

    January 2, 2012 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
    • arliss michaels

      Add cigarettes, alcohol, fast food and many other items to your idiot tax....

      January 2, 2012 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Bert

      Yeah.... let's do away with ALL taxes. We don't need all those things that tax revenue is wasted on like fire and police protection, roads, schools, defense...all useless, don't you think?

      January 2, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Igmont

      Sorry we are as smart as you guys seem to be. Wow, you must both be like rocket scientists or heart surgeons?

      January 2, 2012 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Dummy

      Ever buy a CD or DVD? Go to a movie? How much did you win after you paid them? I'm guessing zero. My $1 lotto ticket is a far better value than the crap Hollywood puts out these days. And at least I know where my "tax" dollar goes when the govt gets it, unlike income tax. So yeah, I'll keep being a dummy.

      January 2, 2012 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
  3. jorge washinsen

    The only ones, to speak of that win, is the state and the lottery runners.Remember when lotteries were illegal?Most of the time the winners are too stupid to handle the money and end up broker than they started.How do you think Vegas survives?

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

      It's the only legal pyramid scheme.


      January 2, 2012 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
    • jorge washinsen

      There is another,Social Security.

      January 2, 2012 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  4. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    I will now buy state lottery tickets

    January 2, 2012 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
  5. Randy

    Interesting that the article never talks about the real reason behind this – more money for the gov't.

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

      Well, DUH! What do you think the lottery is all about? Our lottery has benefited a lot of people who otherwise would not have been able to go to college.

      January 2, 2012 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
  6. hw

    The Power Ball and Mega Ball games are a terrible gambling option. The odds are just too high even to bother with. A better solution than increasing the ticket price would be to reduce the big win to more winners. It could top at 50 million and reduce itself to 5 numbers, 4 numbers etc. This way the prize could be distributed to more people rather than the one or two unusual winners. Both games are just sucker bets.

    January 2, 2012 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
  7. jorge washinsen

    Youn can bet on one thing.your odds of getting killed at church or in your house are a lot better than winning a lottery.

    January 2, 2012 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
  8. AAMike

    Actually the odds of winning are slightly improving not decreasing as the article states.
    The number of Power Ball numbers to choose from will decrease from 39 to 35. That will raise the odds of winning from 1 in 192 million to 1 in 175 million.

    January 2, 2012 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
  9. MOJarry

    I would rather play a game where 200 people win a million, instead of one winning 200 million. You would see a huge increase in sales. I might even play! At 190 million to one, it's just a sucker's game. The lottery is just a fool's tax. People see the trappings of millionaires and they know the only way they will ever see that kind of money is to win the lottery. Sad.

    January 2, 2012 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
  10. jorge washinsen

    All of this selling point on the lottery was to help schools.In my state the politicians had a clause no one knew about that in case of emergeny they could steal it from the schools and use it to bail themselves out of other bad decisions they had made or, pork payments.

    January 2, 2012 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  11. Hugh Jass©

    The house always wins.

    January 2, 2012 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  12. adsf fdsa

    The PA State Lottery is suppose to help elderly, but when my father needed help, all they could offer was "scraps" of nothing...a place that called you back and said he was not qualified for anything...go figure, he was not wealthy so it makes me wonder where all this money goes. Like any other tax system, it goes to pay people to push papers and look helpful.

    January 2, 2012 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
  13. Scott

    Idiot Tax hmmm that's funny. Anyone with rational thought must know that playing the lottery is an excellent opportunity to throw money away. Not much different than trying your luck at a Casino or buying any car made by Chrysler/Dodge. However that being said, there has been published papers on how after buying the lottery ticket for these mega jackpots allows people to fantasize about winning and that these dreams/fantasies allow for the release of endorphins that elevate peoples moods and reduces some negative stressors. Even when they do not win they still have residuals of that elevated mood. In this world any chance or way anyone can get to feel a little better should never be discounted.

    January 2, 2012 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Ishida Mitsunari

      That's one thing that some people here don't quite get. Gambling is fun. Gambling isn't a problem until you spend more than you budget toward entertainment (which needs to be disposable income, after one's survival obligations are already met).

      January 2, 2012 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  14. MightyMoo

    Interesting game this gambling. Like Global Thermal Nuclear War, the only winning move is not to play if you want your bank account to survive.

    January 2, 2012 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
    • SweepTheLeg

      How about a nice game of chess?

      January 2, 2012 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
  15. guppyman

    Yes its a suckers bet. But if you think about it, people like me play with others at work, and we each buy a ticket. We will still continue to buy a ticket, now it will just cost 2 dollars each, instead of one.

    January 2, 2012 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
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