AMP News Education Policy

Powerball Updated with Improved Winning Odds

unnamedAn updated version of the Powerball game is now on sale with changes designed to continue delivering big jackpots as the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery completes its sixth full year.

The payout for match 4 +1 has increased fivefold from $10,000 to $50,000. In another change in the game, when jackpots are $150 or less, players will have the chance to multiply winnings by 10X with the Power Play option.

“Powerball has been revamped several times in its 23-year history to continue delivering the big jackpots people expect from the game while giving players the chance to win other significant prizes,” said Bishop Woosley, ASL director. “The latest changes are designed to continue that trend and build in several exciting new features.”

Sales of the redesigned game began Oct. 4, and the first drawing with the new features was Oct. 7. Players will see changes to both sets of numbers used in the game.

Players will choose their first five numbers from a set of 69 white balls (instead of 59) and their Powerball from a pool of 26 red balls (instead of 35). The result will be better overall odds of winning any prize. Overall odds are now 1 in 24.9, down from 1 in 31.8.

Powerball tickets still cost $2 each and the overall odds of winning a prize will be better. Powerball drawings will continue to be held at 9:59 p.m. Central Time on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

To help remind people to buy tickets, Balance Lighting will project a giant Powerball onto the side of a downtown building.

“People can’t win if they don’t play,” Woosley said. “We wanted to do something that would call attention to the game changes. As we understand it, this would be the biggest project of its kind in the city. What better way to promote our big payouts than with a big Powerball projection on the side of a building?”

These changes come as the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery observes six full years of big wins that have generated more than half a billion dollars in lottery-funded scholarships awarded to more than 200,000 Arkansas students.

In the past six years, the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery track record includes:

  • $529.9 million in net proceeds, providing scholarships for more than 200,000 Arkansas residents pursuing opportunities and advancement through higher education at Arkansas’s 47 public and private nonprofit colleges and universities (Net proceeds earned from Sept. 2009 to Aug. 2015)
  • $2.6 billion in net ticket sales
  • $1.7 billion in prizes paid on tickets purchased in Arkansas
  • Over $1 million in unpaid personal income tax and unpaid child support deducted from claims and returned to Arkansas taxpayers
  • $11.5 million in Arkansas state income tax and $41.6 million in federal income tax paid on lottery winnings
  • $1.26 million in average daily ticket sales and cashing commissions paid to licensed lottery retailers selling tickets in communities statewide
  • $148 million in lottery retailer commissions earned statewide

“The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery has had a multiplier effect on education and the economy of Arkansas,” Woosley said. “Lottery tickets have funded scholarships that help pay for college degrees. College degrees build talent. Talented Arkansans help our state compete on the global stage for good jobs and new business. With every lottery ticket an Arkansan chooses to buy, we are investing in each other and the future of students across the state.”

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