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. BoFo

    Every time some one buys a lottery ticket, they validate that old adage, "There's a sucker born every minute."

    January 2, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      You have NEVER bought a lottery ticket or been in an office pool or the like?

      January 2, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Spock


      January 2, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • mw-maryland

      Yeah. And a lot of those suckers are millionaires. How about you?

      January 2, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • runner305

      Funny...I know one of those "suckers" ...over 20 years ago, they won several million dollars playing Lotto or something like that.

      January 2, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lean6

      Someone who has purchased a ticket with the right numbers on it WILL win some share of the jackpot. How is that being a sucker? Now...if that person spends money that he cannot afford to spend when comparing the odds of winning versus the odds of his electricity being shut off for non-payment, I can see the point. I occasionally, no more than a few times per year, buy ONE ticket. If it's meant to be, it will be.

      January 2, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Greed

    GREED GREED GREED GREED GREED GREED GREED GREED GREED. These people are already raking in millions/billions of dollars from people playing these games but yet they want even more money? Totally disgusting. I would play every now and then but now I will never play again. All you are doing is giving these people more of your money and dont believe the b.s. that you will have a even better chance of winning b/c thats just b.s period. Its amazing how greedy these mf'ers are in this world. Play your local state lottery if you want to play these games. Do not give these people $2 now plus another $2 for a powerplay? $4 for one chance? They are out of their minds.

    January 2, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greed is a moron

      Greed, did you miss the part about Power Play costing $1? If you don't want to play because it's too expensive for you....then don't play! Somebody call this guy a WAAAAMBULANCE.

      January 2, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Roger

      The Powerball Lottery IS a state lottery. Like almost all state lotteries it is run by a private company. A percentage of the profit goes to the state. If they double the price of the ticket and at the same time double the top prize value it would appear that the profits, to the state and the company, would remain about the same.

      January 2, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • ﺶCHEﺶ

      We hear you from the mountain top!

      A call for BOYCOTT of ALL PowerBall establishments and franchise. Count me in, buddy!

      January 2, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      A course in basic economics would help you. Raising your prices does not guarantee that your profits will rise equally. Every economists, left or right leaning, acknowledges that price impacts demand and somethings more then others (price elasticity). My guess is that with the doubling of the fee, they'll see a sizable drop off in tickets sold which means that the games could actually become less profitable in the short run as they learn how to gauge demand to payouts. My guess is that they are willing to take a hit in the short run for a growth in sales later on as people get more excited about the bigger pot. Its a business decision and will be deemed good or bad by the results it generates. No one is forced to play the lottery and its not a right to be able to afford a ticket. Like anything that is sold, including what you make doing your job, its worth what someone is willing to pay for it. Nothing at all to do with greed.

      January 2, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phil

      Yeah because the idiots playing are planning to donate the winnings to charity. At least the "greedy" states money is going to a good cause instead of lining some trailer trash loser's pocket.

      January 2, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lean6

      @Phil, I wouldn't go so far as to call it a good cause. Lottery money is mispents and misappropriated like all of the other tax revenue. This will NOT stop state governments from crying for a need to increase your state and property taxes. This will NOT stop the schools from sending notes home with the kids begging for money or enlisting them and the parents into fundraising efforts. If you're gonna play, play for selfish reasons, and leave it at that. Lol.

      January 2, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • ﺶCHEﺶ

      @Phil, what good cause(s) are you talking about? The last time we checked; there are schools, libraries etc. etc. being closed from North-to-South, East-to-West and in every part of USA. The only good things we see are politicians and Greedy FAT cats sitting in newly renovated offices instead of Schools or libraries being renovated for the general masses than a chosen few. Your argument(s) have no merits unless you believe what these Greedy Fat Cats tells you, as your daily needed dose of inducement to shade the truth of their deceits. Pls. use your own head, sense of feel and smell the Lord God gave you to ascertain the TRUTH. Makes sense to ya?

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

    Welp, im done playing Powerball then if this is true.

    January 2, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Anonymous

    If the number of red balls decrease from 39 to 35, dont your odds of winning INCREASE? LOL

    January 2, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • HAHAHA

      I read the comments to see if anyone else picked up on that!!

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

      No, there are less balls so your odds decreases!!

      January 2, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • william

      Just what I was thinking. Surely the odds increas as the number of choices is reduced. By the way, I know a fellow in Tallahassee who won $50million a few weeks ago, and I didn't even bother to buy a ticket. He just figured if he never played, he had no chance of winnling, and he had as good a chance as any ticket holder to win, so it was worth the few bucks to him.

      January 2, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • william

      Vegan... you really think your odds to pick the powerball would decrease if there were one choice instead of, say, a million? Where did you go to school, bud?

      January 2, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Omnivore

      Sorry Vegan, might want to check your nutrient intake, less balls give you less combinations of numbers... which would give you a high percent chance of winning. The only way your odds would increase with more balls is if each ball was an individual winner.

      January 2, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jason

    I like the idea. I think their logic might be a little off and I don't think that you will see the revenues DOUBLE, but they will increase. People like the idea of a HUGE jackpot, and starting it at $40 million is a good way to get people interested every week, even the day after it's hit. The possibility that you will see many jackpots in the HUNDREDS of millions is intriguing to a lot of people and WILL drive sales higher. I'd like to see a jackpot approach a billion... that'd be cool.

    January 2, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      And Powerballs profits will double as well.

      January 2, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ﺶCHEﺶ

    What a rip-off!
    A bunch of crooks trying to amass huge retirement bonuses for their greedy FAT CAT bosses. Punks!

    January 2, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Spock

      Amen, its all about greed, that haves take it from the have nots

      January 2, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phil

      Aww, what's the matter loser? Does this throw your "retirement planning" into chaos?

      January 2, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • CKS

      Then don't buy the ticket. The lack of basic education in this country is amazing to me. Think before you type stuff. You look like a moron. The "white" comment was especially helpful, really hammered the point home. Idiot.

      January 2, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • ﺶCHEﺶ

      @CKS, glad I got your trailer park antenna up like a pig tail.
      Does a Master’s Degree in Advanced Science and PHD in same sounds like Basic Education to ya? I can make you an advanced calculus expert in seconds. You're light years in basic intelligence.
      You sound like you have an IQ the shoe size of a trailer park pig.
      Sarah Palin imbecilic intellect disorder I might add!
      Waste of Bandwidth! Don’t let the screen fool ya!

      January 2, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • CKS

      Good response. Oh, wait...you didn't respond at all.

      January 2, 2012 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • CKS

      "You're light years in basic intelligence" .....is that even a sentence? Oh, and you can say that your a PhD, physicist, cured cancer...I don't care. Your like everyone else on here who can say they are anything they want to. I cured cancer but haven't told anyone yet so obviously I am smarter. Make an ounce of sense with your statements and people won't call you a moron. Seems simple.

      January 2, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • cks

      Good luck with the english as a second language class. You sound like you need all the help you can get. Try a statement without pig or trailer park in it. Come on now, holed up in your apartment all day chatting on message boards in your boxers you have to have better statements than that right?

      January 2, 2012 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Charles Jones

    Since the government is so hard up for tax money, what happened to the better idea of making marijuna legal and taxing it. That would solve many, many funding problems. Who's running this show anyway?

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

      Because running and regulating a lottery is far easier and cheaper. I'm all in favor of legalizing MJ, but it's actually more complicated than it sounds. For example, a 0.08 BAC level is a quantifiable and therefore legally enforceable level of impairment for alcohol. There is currently no way of quantifying if someone on MJ is impaired and not legal to drive.

      January 2, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ron

    In the past few years, I've probablly bout enough lootery tickets to have a school named after me! I buy them not for the small winninings I enjoy once in a while....just for the life changing dream....

    January 2, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  9. jeff

    You can't raise the price of the ticket and not improve on the odds of winning. Where is the incentive to shell out $2.00 a ticket? They try to make it sound good by saying the payouts will be larger, but the odds of winning are the same whether you fork out $1.00 or $2.00.. I bought my last ticket. What a joke. Let's take more money from people that can't afford to play or have a problem; Let the Lottery Commission feed their kids.

    January 2, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Charles Jones

    Thank you Schmedley, I like your answer to a glaring question. Our government is so caught up in itself that they can't see the benefits of anything beneficial to other than themselves.

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

    My childhood friend hit the Powerball Jackpot several years ago, so the old adage "You can't win if you don't play" is true; however, doubling the price won't double "their" profits, it will only double the profits of other lotteries such as MegaMillions or the State Lottery because folks won't play Powerball as loosly as they do today. For example, I will continue to play, but will not increase my investment.

    January 2, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  12. english

    people its plain and simple...........if you don't like the change ............then don't freaking play............

    January 2, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  13. JIm P.

    I'll just buy half as many tickets... $5 once a month is about what i spend on the wilder days.

    Sure it's low probability but not buying a ticket guarantees you do not win and I can easily afford a $5 now and then and I get $5 worth of fun thinking about what I'd do with the money.

    Those who actually base their financial planning around winning the lottery are incurably stupid so I see no reason they should be coddled or worried about. nature will take care of them in time.

    January 2, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Tim

    This article is wrong on a few things... first the power play option doesn't just "double" your non-jackpot winnings, it depends on the power play drawn (i.e. 2, 3, 4 or 5). Check your facts. Also it says that your odds of winning will decrease by taking away 4 red balls, but actually your chances of winning will INCREASE. Apparently no one checks the facts before they post articles here!

    January 2, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  15. play responsibly

    The $1 ticket price was convenient because if I had an extra buck I would play. So now the jackpot supposedly nearly
    doubles, on average, from $140M to $255M. The question I ask myself is, Why would I throw away $2 for the same chance at winning twice the jackpot? If I won, would my lifestyle change accordingly? I doubt it. Also, now, am I going to shell out twice as much to purchase gift lottery tickets when they were just as much fun for recipients at $1 per chance? I doubt it. The economy hasn't improved by that much.

    January 2, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
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