The Multi-State Lottery Association, which has responsibility for overseeing the running of Powerball, had originally estimated that at least 300 millionaires per year would be created following the changes introduced in January 2012. However, in a statement released yesterday, it became clear that these expectations had been spectacularly exceeded.
The changes introduced in 2012 included doubling the starting jackpot to $40 million and reducing the Powerball number matrix from 39 to 35 as well as a controversial increase in the ticket price from $1 to $2. The aim was to generate a half-billion dollar lottery jackpot and this was achieved in November 2012, less than a year after the changes came into effect. After a succession of draws with no top prize winner, the jackpot reached a huge $587.5 million on November 28 2012 before being won by ticket holders Matthew Good from Arizona and Mark and Cindy Hill from Missouri. Both winning ticket holders opted for the cash payment.
Powerball proved that November’s record jackpot wasn’t a fluke when, in May 2013, the jackpot exceeded the previous record when it reached $590.5 million. This colossal jackpot was won by a single ticket holder, Gloria MacKenzie from Florida, and is currently Powerball’s biggest jackpot.
In the past two years, Rhode Island has emerged as one of the luckiest states after two Powerball jackpot winning tickets were sold in the state. One ticket holder won a jackpot worth $336.4 million on February 11 2012 while another ticket holder won $60 million on March 7 2012. In addition to these jackpot winners, Rhode Island Lottery has paid out $38.5 million in other Powerball prizes, including two prizes of $2 million and five prizes worth $1 million.
Powerball isn’t the only lottery to undergo a redesign as, in October 2013, changes were also implemented to Mega Millions. The changes, which included extending the main number matrix from 56 to 75, reducing the Mega Ball number pool from 46 to 15 and increasing the Match 5 prize from $250,000 to $1 million, were introduced with the aim of creating larger jackpots by making the top prize harder to win. These changes have stoked competition between the two games and the race is now on to see which lottery will offer the first $1 billion jackpot. Will it happen this year? Only time will tell.
For the latest winning numbers from US lottery games, visit Lottery.net.