Enhanced Multi-State Powerball Game Goes On Sale January 15Monday, January 9th, 2012
New $2 version offers bigger starting jackpots, larger prizes and more millionaires
The new year is bringing new features to Powerball. Beginning Sunday, January 15, 2012, the multi-state jackpot game will double its starting jackpot from $20 million to $40 million. In addition, the second-tier prize will rise from the current $200,000 to $1 million. If a player adds the Power Play option, the second-tier prize automatically doubles to $2 million. The ticket price also changes, moving from $1 to $2 for a single Powerball ticket. The overall odds of winning a prize improve from one in 35 to one in 31.8, and the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot go from one in 195.2 million to one in 175.2 million. The first Powerball drawing under the new game structure will take place on Wednesday, January 18.
“Players like fast-growing jackpots, and they like having options, so the new $2 game should do well,” Maryland Lottery Director Stephen Martino said. “Innovation and change are important to all industries, including the lottery, and we think that $2 Powerball represents new energy and excitement that our players will embrace.” The enhancements, approved in June by the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL) which owns and operates Powerball, will result in the first price increase in tickets since the game started nearly 20 years ago. The changes apply to all 44 states and jurisdictions that offer Powerball.
Since going on sale in Maryland only two years ago, there have been two Powerball jackpot winners. The first jackpot win of $108.8 million was claimed by an Abingdon couple on September 7, 2011. The most recent Powerball jackpot win in Maryland occurred less than two weeks ago on Christmas Eve. The winning $128.8 million ticket was purchased at Wesley’s in Elkton and was claimed by a Pennsylvania couple on Friday, January 6, 2012. In addition, there have been 21 second-tier Powerball winners since the game launched in Maryland, with three of those winners taking home $1 million as a result of adding the Power Play option.
“With these new game enhancements, we anticipate increased popularity in Powerball, increased sales and, ultimately, increased revenue for the state of Maryland,” Martino said.