SOURCE: Multi-State Lottery Association

August 12, 2008 15:30 ET

Powerball® Is Improving

POWERBALL--(Marketwire - August 12, 2008) - Powerball, the world's best known jackpot lottery game, will be making improvements to the game with the addition of Florida in January.

Powerball will add some white ball numbers and will remove some red ball numbers, improving the game to increase the size of the average jackpot won while still making it easier to win other prizes. The white ball side will move from 55 to 59 while the red ball side will fall from 42 to 39. The jackpot odds will be increased to one in 195.2 million while the overall odds of winning any prize will be dropped to one in 35.1

"The net effect is that we are adding one more ball to the drums," said Ernie Passailaigue, the Powerball Group Chairman and the Executive Director of the South Carolina Lottery. "With the addition of Florida, Powerball has the chance to become even more exciting by keeping the jackpot levels up where players like to see them, but we also want to do some special things with the game. Even though many players focus on large Powerball jackpots, we still want to create lots of millionaires and we also want to create more winners with better overall odds."

Here are some of the key improvements planned for the game:

1.  The starting jackpot will increase from $15 million to $20 million, the
    world's largest starting lotto game jackpot.
2.  The average jackpot will increase from an expected average of $95.5
    million to $141 million.
3.  The jackpot pool percentage is being increased from (30.3% to 32.5%) to
    make the jackpot grow faster and larger.
4.  The Match 5 prize with the Power Play option now has a guaranteed 5X
    multiplier, pushing the second prize to $1 million -- and this $1
    million prize will be paid in CASH, in one lump sum.
5.  The overall odds of the game have been reduced to add more than 3
    million extra prizes won per year.
6.  Power Play continues to be available on the bottom seven prize levels
    (2X to 5X).

"The price of a Powerball ticket remains unchanged at $1. Even though our players know that the cost of everything else has gone up since Powerball sales commenced over 16 years ago, we didn't want to raise Powerball's price in our current economy. Powerball players will continue to have the option to play the game for $1 or to play the game with enhanced prizes for $2 by using Power Play," said Passailaigue. "We wanted to give our players the power to choose and with many of our newer member lotteries, more than half of our players have chosen the benefits of the $2 Power Play option."

Powerball will continue to offer the Power Play option for an extra $1 per play, offering a random multiplier of 2X, 3X, 4X or 5X for all cash prizes won (except the Jackpot). However, in the new game, the Match 5 prize is guaranteed to always draw the 5X multiplier, turning the $200,000 cash prize into a $1 million cash prize.

The unique Match 5 BONUS option, which increases the Match 5 prize pool when the game reaches record jackpots, will also continue as a popular feature of the game.

"The Match 5 BONUS feature allows us to occasionally create a rolling Match 5 pool that should offer even more fun and greater prizes for our players," said Passailaigue.

This is the fifth redesign for the best-known multi-state jackpot game since it was created in 1992. The last change was in August 2005. Changes to the current game are expected to be in place by January 2009.

Powerball was launched in April 1992. The 32 lotteries offering the new game are: Arizona Lottery, Colorado Lottery, Connecticut Lottery Corporation, D.C. Lottery (District of Columbia), Delaware Lottery, Idaho Lottery, Hoosier Lottery (Indiana), Iowa Lottery, Kansas Lottery, Kentucky Lottery Corporation, Louisiana Lottery Corporation, Maine Lottery, Minnesota State Lottery, Missouri Lottery, Montana Lottery, Nebraska Lottery, New Hampshire Lottery Commission, New Mexico Lottery, North Carolina Education Lottery, North Dakota Lottery, Oklahoma Lottery, Oregon Lottery, Pennsylvania Lottery, Rhode Island Lottery, South Carolina Education Lottery, South Dakota Lottery, Tennessee Education Lottery, Virgin Islands Lottery, Vermont Lottery, Wisconsin Lottery, and West Virginia Lottery. The Florida Lottery expects to begin selling the game in 2009.

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