There may be a $1 billion (R 12.7 billion) jackpot sooner than expected. On 4 October 2015, US Powerball – one of the largest lottery games in the world – is changing its rules in time for the 7 October draw.
Currently, US Powerball players pick numbers from two fields. The first field — or main numbers – has a range of 1 to 59 and the second field — the Powerball – ranges from 1 to 35. Starting this October, the first field’s range will increase to 69, while the second field will decrease to 26. This will cause the odds of winning the US Powerball jackpot to decrease from 1 in 175,223,510 to 1 in 292,201,338.
The bad news is that obviously this makes it harder to win the jackpot. The good news is that since it’s harder – and US Powerball has a no-limit jackpot – we could see a $1 billion prize in the near future. The current world record for largest jackpot is $656 million, set by Mega Millions in March 2012.
And the dream of winning a billion-dollar jackpot isn’t the only silver lining.
The rule changes are intended to increase the overall odds of winning any US Powerball prize. While the odds of winning the jackpot and $1 million second division go down, the odds of winning the smaller prizes increase. US Powerball features nine prize divisions and the odds of winning any division is 1 in 32 at present. Starting in October, it will increase to 1 in 25.
Additionally, the third prize division will increase from $10,000 to $50,000. By adding the Power Play – an optional add-on which multiplies any secondary prize up to five times – at time of purchase, a third place winner can now end up $250,000 richer.
Past big US Powerball winners include Gloria MacKenzie who holds the world record for largest single winning lottery ticket prize at $590.5 million, won in May 2013. Two ticket holders split the second largest US Powerball jackpot of $587.5 million a year before in November 2012. And on 11 February 2015, three tickets split the $564.1 million jackpot. We’ll soon see if the new Powerball rules can double these already massive jackpot amounts.
Non-US residents can also participate in US Powerball draws and become big winners. South African lottery players who want to beat the odds and win a US Powerball jackpot can purchase their tickets online from independent ticket purchasing services like theLotter, which has been providing South African lottery players with tickets to global lotteries for more than a decade.