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. Dmac

    and just like that, the poor get a little poorer

    January 2, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Buncha Idits

      so they don't play. nobody is forcing them to.

      January 2, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      Agreed, Dmac. Well said. And Buncha, yeah, they choose to play, but for many of them the price of their fix just got higher.

      January 2, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  2. kixxie

    I'm okay with blowing a buck here and there on the lottery, but there is NO WAY I'm paying anymore than that. I have a feeling that these lottery officials are going to see this "new idea" backfire on them, kind of like the fee's that the banks and Verizon tried to pull. I think THE PEOPLE are finally coming together and saying enough is enough, even when it comes to the lottery! Ah we shall see!!!

    January 2, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Buncha Idits

      Great comment – and good for you! You know your limits.

      January 2, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jerry Senzee

    They should chop it so there could be hundreds of winners of $50.000 . A lot of people today could use $50.000. There would be a lot of happy people that way and the chances of winning would be so much greater. Instead of one person winning eveything. What is wrong with people ?

    January 2, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Playjojo

      It used to be easy to win even just a little, it was fun to throw a buck around once in a while. Now forget it, they increased the odds so you can't win even a small amount. I'd like to know where the money goes, certainly not to improve the towns or cities that sell them.

      January 2, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      Unless you know how hundreds of people can acquire the same six numbers in one drawing (1:175 million chance for one person winning), they simply can't do that without altering the formula.

      Otherwise, your idea would be to create a lottery with ONE number if someone matches that number, they win $50K. The lottery has to profit for education, so the chances of that happening is nil.

      January 2, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jim5k

    I play only when the payout is greater than the odds, or $195 million. If a ticket costs twice as much, I won't play until $390 million (or whatever the new odds dictate).

    January 2, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      That strategy makes no sense and is just as arbitrary as playing only when the jackpot is any other value. Your odds don't change based on the jackpot. The only thing that changes is the likelihood that someone will win, simply because more people play for the big jackpots. I will grant you however that having personal little rules like yours, however illogical they may be, curb how often you gamble. And that's a good thing.

      January 2, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim5k

      Kevin – same odds, better payout (even with the chance of sharing). If you don't understand that you'd better stop gambling. I'll start a little game of flip-the-coin with you charging you a dollar with a 50 cent payout. You'd be better off putting your dollar in a jar each week then buying a bunch of tickets when the payouts are higher (because the odds are the same).

      January 2, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  5. razzi

    I will play...I will just not purchase as many tickets as I did before. Budget, budget, budget:)

    January 2, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Tony

    I think it's funny when the odds of something are like 1 in 195 million... Now they are going to charge double?? Did the odds go down to 1 in 100 million? LOL

    January 2, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "The Lunatic Fringe'"

    $2.00 to play with somebody's balls....pumb stupid! 😉

    January 2, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  8. noname

    they think they double revenue? Morons – if I used to spend $10 before, I'll still spend $10 in the future. I'm not going to spend $20.

    January 2, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ken

    So lets get this straight. They plan to double the price, while decreasing the odds of me winning the jackpot? And they expect that not only sales won't drop, but sales will increase???

    Only a government official could gome up with this type of idea.

    January 2, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  10. jose

    So what nobody is telling anyone to play. It's nothing but the price of a dream, your odds of winning the top tier remains the same. If you don't want to dream about winning then don't play but you got to be in it to win it.

    January 2, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  11. SteveR

    You can't lose if you don't play. if you started playing in 1980, 5 bucks a week and invested it in an average stock, how much would you have now. One online model says $1,563,684. I think their model is wacked. I probably would have spent the 5 buck on slurpees instead. It's a fools bet because look what most fools do after they win? Don't half end up broke in a decade? LOL

    January 2, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Ted greene

    Most people that play have eithe a high school education or higher?.........who's the fool? And we allow them to vote? No wonder we are in a mess!

    January 2, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Marcy

    People play to win the jackpot, yet people rarely win even the lowest prizes. The new Powerball odds will essentially be the same as Mega Millions, which are astronomically long, yet Powerball expects people will pay twice the money to play their revised game? LOL No thanks. I'll play $1 Mega Millions.

    January 2, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  14. John

    Projects residents to halve in income.

    January 2, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Larry

    From time to time (generally very infrequently and only when the jackpot is high) I'll buy a few tickets just for fun. I've heard it said, though (and I think it's a pretty accurate statement) that playing the lottery should basically be considered a taxation on stupidity. If you're playing the lottery for ANYTHING but fun, rethink how you could be using your money because EVERY way would be better. What I do think is wrong is that there are many people addicted to gambling and playing the lottery, and they're using money they can't afford to use–lottery officials know this even as they talk about playing responsibly. Are lottery players responsible for their own behavior? Sure. Do they have the choice to play or not play? Sure. But addiction can make choices tough. Shame on the lottery folks for raising the price, and I'm guessing it won't last long...hopefully revenues will drop. But as one poster said very accurately (IMO)..."just like that, the poor just got poorer." There's no free lunch, folks, so unless you're playing only for fun, you might want to think again.

    January 2, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
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