For the fifth time in its history, Powerball is undergoing changes, all aimed at producing higher jackpots and more winners.
Florida joins the group of (now) 32 states and jurisdictions today, the Fourth.
And the jackpot will never be less than $20 million, as a starting point.
Below, is the official statement put out by the folks at the Multi State Lottery (MUSL) group that runs Powerball:
On January 4, 2009, the Powerball game will change.
We are adding some white ball numbers to make the jackpots bigger and we are subtracting some of the red ball numbers to create more winners (over 3.5 million more winners per year at the same sales level).
The new Powerball will be a 59/39 game.
The Power Play option will continue, except that we will now always draw a 5X for the second prize (Match 5+0). That means that when you win the second prize and have also purchased the Power Play option, your $200,000 will automatically become $1 million; every time.
And this prize is paid in cash.
The Power Play option will still offer the chance of drawing the multipliers 2X, 3X, 4X, or 5X for the other set prize levels, but the second prize will never be less than 5X.
We know that most folks only play for the big jackpot, but we want to create many more millionaires in the game so don’t forget to check your ticket for the other prize levels.
The starting jackpot will also be bumped from a guaranteed $15 million to a guaranteed $20 million.
Okay MUSL. Sounds cool to me.
Friends, keep all of this in mind as you fill out your playslip for this Wednesday’s game.
By sheer coincidence, the jackpot has hit a pretty lofty number for Jan. 7: $105 million, estimated.
Good luck everyone.