Attention lottery players: Changes are coming to Powerball

Posted at 4:17 PM, Oct 02, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-03 20:43:04-04

Virginia Powerball players will soon see changes in the game designed to improve the odds of winning any prize, increase the amount you can win using POWER PLAY, and increase the prize for matching four numbers plus the Powerball number.

The change in the odds will be the result of increasing the number of white balls that can be drawn from 59 to 69 and decreasing the Powerball numbers from 35 to 26. That will decrease the odds of winning the jackpot from 1 in 175 million to 1 in 292 million. It will increase the odds of winning any prize from 1 in 32 to 1 in 25.

“We really think Powerball players in Virginia will like these changes – and also what’s not changing,” said Virginia Lottery Executive Director Paula Otto. “The profit from every Powerball ticket bought in Virginia, win or lose, goes to benefit K-12 education in the Commonwealth.”

Here’s what won’t change: Playing Powerball will still cost $2 for a single play. For players who wish to increase a prize using POWER PLAY, that option will still cost $1. And those famed Powerball jackpot amounts will remain BIG, with a minimum starting jackpot of $40 million.

Speaking of POWER PLAY, players who spend an extra buck for that option could now have prizes of $50,000 or less increase up to 10 times, instead of the current 5-times maximum. The 10x multiplier will be available only when the advertised jackpot is $150 million or less.

With Powerball, there are nine ways to win prizes ranging from $4 to the jackpot. One of those prize levels is about to change. The prize for matching four numbers plus the Powerball number increases from $10,000 to $50,000.

Players will see these changes beginning October 4.

Virginia’s biggest Powerball prize was claimed on Valentine’s Day 2013, when Dave and Nancy Honeywell of Fredericksburg collected a jackpot prize worth $217 million.

Powerball drawings are held at 10:59 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays.