The Powerball multistate lottery game has changed.
Some white ball numbers will be added to make the jackpots larger and the lottery game will subtract some red ball numbers to create more winners. Statistics indicate the changes will create an additional 3.5 million winners per year.
Currently, the game draws its numbers from 52 white balls and 42 red balls.The new Powerball twice-weekly drawing will be a 59/39 game.
The Power Play option will be enhanced to ensure a multipler of five on the second prize, which is awarded to players who match the five white balls but miss the Powerball. That means that when you win the second prize and also purchased the Power Play option, the $200,000 prize automatically will become $1 million cash prize, Powerball's official Web site reports.
The Power Play option still will offer the chance of drawing the multipliers 2X, 3X, 4X or 5X for the other set prize levels, but the second prize never will be less than a multiplier of five.
Powerball's promotions use the slogan, "When it's Powerball, it's never small." To further drive that idea, the starting jackpot, which resets after each win, also will be bumped. It moves from $15 million to a guaranteed $20 million.
State lottery sales terminals are winding down future plays until the game change, but the multi-draw plays will be back after Jan. 4.
In rare instances, the multistate game may not be able to pay the set prize levels. As an example, Powerball's Web site referred to the recurring numbers from the TV show "Lost," which many people are using. In that case, the prize pools will go pari-mutuel like the jackpot and Powerball will divide the prize pool among all of the winners.
The Multi-State Lottery Association, headquartered in Urbandale, Iowa, introduced Powerball in April 1992. The game is available in 29 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Powerball records say Kentucky has received more than $2.82 billion from the multistate gaming alliance since 1989. More than half of that amount has gone to the state's general fund which some money designated for education, literacy and early childhood reading, post-secondary scholarships, the Affordable Housing Trust Fund and Vietnam veterans.