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May 27, 2021


Hello again, Kay. I believe you are confusing details of the multiplier features in Powerball and Mega Millions. If you purchase the multiplier option in Powerball and win a prize at the Match 5 level, which normally would be $1 million, your prize will be multiplied to $2 million with the Power Play. In Mega Millions, the Megaplier option at the Match 5 level can multiply the prize involved up to $5 million. There are some differences in the games' prize structures, and that is one of them. The other details that I've shared here on the blog regarding the jackpot changes are correct. When I had initially blogged about the changes back on April 2, 2020, you had commented at the time and asserted that a change was being made to the Power Play options. I replied at that time and shared that the Power Play feature remained unchanged. That is still the case.

I cannot tell whether you are uninformed or obtuse but judging from previous blogs where you choose (as you did here) to answer a completely different question than what was asked, I’m going with obtuse. . So let ME clarify:

1. The changes to Powerball and Megamillions were supposed to be temporary and done in response to COVID. You can read about that in you own blog here: https://www.ialotteryblog.com/2020/04/further-powerball-changes-coming-were-offering-free-plays-to-multi-draw-players.html
At that time, the prizes were scaled back because people were not buying tickets. Now, we have a booming economy and prizes are still growing much more slowly. Someone has to be benefiting from this and it is certainly not the players.

2. When the changes were made in 2020, Powerball stopped applying the multiplier to the second place prize. The multiplier used to be apply to that prize so if a 4x multiplier were rolled the second place prize would be $4 million dollars. This is no longer happening.

So when are the state lotteries going to hold the PB and Mm accountable for these supposed temporary changes due to COVID?

3. Where is all the extra money going now that the economy is booming? And please, no obtuse answered here.

Hi, Kay. Just to clarify, no change has been made to the second-prize multiplier in Powerball. It remains the same as it has been for years. Regarding the jackpot changes that were made in 2020, sales and interest rates determine the starting jackpot amounts in Powerball and Mega Millions, as well as the rate at which the jackpots increase between drawings. The process put in place in the games last year and is necessary to ensure that sales can support the games’ jackpots a well as their other prize levels. The design of the games and the prizes they offer are based upon mathematics. And in the months since the changes were put in place, interest rates have remained low while lotto sales overall have remained soft. Consumer behavior in that regard has not yet returned to pre-pandemic norms. We understand that folks want bigger, faster-growing jackpots, and that is one of the factors behind the decision to add another drawing in Powerball each week starting later this summer.

When will the state lotteries hold powerball accountable for the changes they made to the jackpots and the second prize multiplier? This was supposed to be a temporary change due to Covid. The economy is booming now and the prize levels haven’t gone back to normal, what gives?

I like your style, Kevin. And you are right: Playing the lottery is an option, just like anything else you choose to buy as a consumer. It is not a requirement, and we know that. It sounds like you have a plan, and you have fun while you play. That's exactly what we want to see! Thank you for playing and we hope to see YOU as a big winner soon.

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As the lottery’s vice president of external relations, I’m a member of the senior management team at the Iowa Lottery, where I’ve worked since 1999. I’ve spent my years at the lottery learning as much as I can about all the ins and outs of the lottery industry. I’ll put that knowledge to work here so I can share the behind-the-scenes details with you!