Powerball® is getting a make-over, with changes that will take effect in the game in October. The update is designed to continue to deliver the big jackpots that people expect from Powerball while upping other significant prizes in it as well. The October revamp will be the eighth in the game since its start back in April 1992.
Here are the basics: Powerball plays will still cost $2 each. There will be better overall odds of winning any prize, a big jump up to $50,000 for the game’s third prize level, and a chance for players to multiply most winnings by up to 10 times when the jackpot is $150 million or less.
You’ll choose your first five numbers from a set of 69 (currently 59) white balls and your Powerball from a pool of 26 (currently 35) red balls. The end result will be better overall odds of winning any prize with longer odds of winning the jackpot. Powerball jackpots will continue to start at $40 million and the game’s second prize for matching the first five numbers but missing the Powerball will still be $1 million. But the game’s third prize level will get a five-fold increase from $10,000 up to $50,000 for matching four of the first five numbers and the Powerball.
The Power Play® option also will get a big expansion with a 10X feature when jackpots in the game are at lower levels. Currently, players can multiply many prizes by up to five times by adding the Power Play option to their purchase for an extra $1 per play.
Under the new design, the Power Play option will be expanded to multiply most prizes (except the jackpot and Match 5 level) by up to 10 times whenever the game’s advertised annuitized jackpot is $150 million or less. The Match 5 prize of $1 million will continue to double to $2 million with the Power Play added.
We’ve featured the 10X feature in special promotions a few times through the years and players have always liked it, so we’re keeping it as an enhancement to the game.
Starting Oct. 7, the Power Play numbers available will be 2X, 3X, 4X, 5X and 10X when the jackpot is $150 million or less. Only the first four multipliers will be in play when the jackpot is higher than that.
Here’s an example of how it will work: Let’s say the Powerball jackpot is at $100 million for a particular drawing and you win a $50,000 prize that night for matching four of the first five numbers and the Powerball. But you also added the Power Play option to your ticket. If 10X is selected as the Power Play number in that night’s drawing, your $50,000 prize will be multiplied to $500,000. Powerball drawings will continue to be held at 9:59 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
We’ll have more reminders as we get closer to the change date so you’ll be up on the very latest. Remember to look for the “redo” coming in October!