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Powerball lottery to implement changes

Jun 1, 2005, 8:12 pm

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Sales for a new, enhanced version of the Powerball multi-state lottery game will begin on Sunday, August 28.

The new game will feature the country's largest opening jackpot, faster growing jackpots and bigger second-tier prizes that will allow players matching five white ball numbers to win up to $1 million.

The Powerball opening jackpot will increase from $10 million to $15 million. Powerball's second-tier prize for matching five white ball numbers (without matching the red Powerball number) will double, increasing from the current $100,000 to $200,000.

With the PowerPlay feature, players who match five white ball numbers will have the chance to win $1 million. The first Powerball drawing to feature the new changes will be on Wednesday, Aug. 31.

"The improvements to Powerball will make the game more exciting," said Lottery Executive Director Ed Mahlman. "Powerball soon will have the largest opening jackpot in American Lottery history.

"Powerball jackpots will also increase faster, in at least $5 million increments."

To increase the average Powerball jackpot size, two white ball numbers will be added, changing the jackpot odds to 1-in-146.1 million; the current game has jackpot odds of 1-in-120.5 million. The overall odds of winning a cash prize will remain virtually the same, at 1-in-36.60, up slightly from the current 1-in-36.06.

To prepare for the changes to the game, it will be necessary to step-down Powerball's advance-play feature. Powerball and PowerPlay tickets may be purchased up to 13 weeks (26 draws) in advance. Beginning with the June 4 drawing, there no longer will be 26 draws remaining in the current version of the Powerball game. The last opportunity to purchase 13 weeks (26 draws) of Powerball in its current matrix will be Wednesday, June 1. The number of advance draws available for purchase will continue to decrease by one until only one drawing in the current schedule remains.

Powerball tickets will be on sale for the new, enhanced version beginning Sunday, Aug. 28. At that time, players again will be able to purchase up to 13 weeks (26 draws) of advance-play tickets.

This will be the fourth version of Powerball since it was introduced in April 1992. The Pennsylvania Lottery joined the multi-jurisdictional game in June 2002. In the past three years, Pennsylvania has sold nine jackpot- winning Powerball tickets totaling more than $425 million cash.

Powerball tickets are currently sold in 29 participating jurisdictions - 27 states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands.

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