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. Rosey

    What a joke. I won't buy any tickets, that's for sure. It's a travesty that when a winning ticket is claimed, so much $$ goes to only ONE winner. Someone is getting very rich in the Powerball office. Not from me, never again.

    January 2, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Lottery Winner

      Good call, you found us out! We at the lottery office don't actually pay any money out. We just keep it all to ourselves. Now if you will excuse me, we are planning the next fake Apollo mission to the moon.

      January 2, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  2. obverse side

    sayanara powerball

    January 2, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  3. dabble53

    I'm not so sure it's just the large jackpots that cause an increase in sales. When the jackpot increases to the point where the payoff is in line with the odds, THEN you might consider buying a lottery ticket. Until that figure is reached, you are actually better going to the casino where the payoff is much closer to the odds (at least for craps and blackjack). At least if you are going to gamble, gamble when the odds are closer to favoring you (even though they never actually do.)

    January 2, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  4. Jaun in El Paso

    I hate to tell whoevere who this, but if the power balls decrease from 39 to 35 the change of winning increases. I guess journalist majors don't take many many courses. Simple stats is all you need to understand this. No wonder they don't understand how Obamas economic policies are hurting us.

    January 2, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
    • TMoney

      Really? Really? What does this have to do with Obama?

      January 2, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Isolationist

    The odds will decrease? I don't think this author payed attention when they were teaching fractions in school.

    January 2, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Daisy

    I am with Rosey. It is so true only One person getting so much money. Those power ball board idiots don't realize that people won't get attracted rather be driven away from playing pb. They would rather hv come up with the idea of distributing more money to scratch off tickets and thereby increasing the chance of winning in scratch off that way more people can get chance to win.

    January 2, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  7. mike

    Absurd. When Powerball sales go down will they increase to $3 to make it up? Sounds like the feds to me.

    January 2, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  8. MHM

    I win $5 every week by not playing! Money in my pocket and not the states or lottery commissions. It's a losing proposition.

    January 2, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • sure

      Someone has to win...might as well be me.

      January 2, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. flipSaunders

    If you spent $2 under the current odds, your chance of winning would increase by 50%. Under the new odds, $2 increases your chance of winning by about 10%. I'll TAKE IT!

    January 2, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  10. fred

    just as long as you all realize, all lottery tickets are "idiot tax" we can go about our way...It's amazing how many governments are in charge of taxing the vices that exist

    January 2, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Isolationist

      As long as you realize that being self righteous about OTHER people's vices makes you an idiot.

      What is your vice? Booze, cigarettes, restaurants? They all tax foolishness. The lottery is about the cheapest of the bunch.

      January 2, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  11. CSC

    My odds will decrease as I will not buy as many tickets due to the price increase. So the theory that the odds are increasing is really not true, especially in these economic times. The Powerball is joining the rest of the corrupt greedy companies and CEO'S in this country and taking advantage.

    January 2, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Big Game James

    @Isolationist Check YOUR comment before you talk about somebody else's education. And for everybody judging or criticizing lottery players its called freedom of choice. SOME of you would be the first one with your hand out if your granny won. No harm in it at all. When you buy stocks you are taking a risk too. Let people dream and fantasize about big money.

    January 2, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Kevin C

    The game is getting worse for average and habitual players and better for those chasing jackpots of over $300m. Under the 2011 rules players could expect to win $0.51 for each $1 they bet Under the 2012 rules, players will win (on average) only about $0.43 per dollar bet because each $2 ticket will have expected winnings of just $0.85, on average.

    The Lottery knows its customers, because history has shown that no matter how long the odds get, people chase that jackpot, even though they keep making the jackpot less likely to be won. Sales have gone up each time they "took" from players and lowered the average winnings per ticket. They've raised the jackpots over the years, but they've lowered the odds of winning even faster, but each time the Lottery's overall take has gone up. Their likely success will prove once again that the Lottery is a tax on people who are bad at math.

    January 2, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Isolationist

      How did you calculate that? Are you aware that the five number match prize went from 200,000 to 1 million?

      January 2, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Lottery Winner

    They should take a hint from Verizon, get ready to hear they went back to one dollar after customers stop buying tickets.

    January 2, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Lottery Winner

    then you owe us each .50 for typing that.

    January 2, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
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