US Powerball History
From ‘Lotto America’ to ‘Powerball’
The American Powerball lottery was originally known under a different moniker, Lotto America, which came to life in February of 1988. In April 1992, Lotto America was subjected to many changes, including a new number of nine prize categories, improved overall winning odds and bigger jackpots. This was the reason to change the name of the game to the current Powerball.
Powerball changes of 2012
On January 15, 2012, Powerball again underwent major changes, in order to produce bigger jackpots, better odds of winning and more millionaires. The changes also meant a slight increase of the price of a Powerball ticket, which went up to $2. Key changes were as follows:
- Starting jackpot doubled from $20 million to $40 million
- Jackpots increase by a $10 million minimum amount with each rollover
- Odds of winning the jackpot improved from 1 in 195.2 million to 1 in 175.2 million
- Overall winning odds improved from 1 in 35 to 1 in 32
- Match-5 secondary prize increased from $200,000 to $1 million
- The Powerball-only prize (0+PB) increased from $3 to $4
Powerball changes of 2015
On Oct 4, 2015, the Powerball format changed to alter the overall and jackpot winning odds. The main points are below:
- The main number set increased from 59 to 69
- The Powerball set decreased from 35 to 26
- Overall winning odds increased to 1 in 24.
- Jackpot winning odds changed to 1 in 292,201,338.
- The 4+1 prize became $50,000
- The 10x Power Play became available in drawings with a jackpot below $150 million
Ultimately, the changes of October 2014 led to the record $1.6 billion jackpot of January 2016 after only 20 rollovers. Time will tell when we will see the next jackpot north of $1 billion, but now is still always a good time to play!