- Associated Press - Friday, October 2, 2015

ALEXANDRIA, La. (AP) - Beginning Sunday, the Powerball is implementing changes to make it easier to win some prizes but harder to win the jackpot.

The changes to the lottery game matrix are designed to create larger average jackpots, lottery officials said.

Those who add the $1 Power Play option will have the opportunity to multiply their non-jackpot prize up to 10 times whenever Powerball’s advertised annuity jackpot is $150 million or less. That begins with the Oct. 7 drawing.

Ten numbers will be added to the field of white-ball numbers for a total of 69, and nine Powerball numbers will be removed for a total of 26.

“These game matrix changes result in longer odds of winning the jackpot, which will go from 1 in 175.2 million to 1 in 292.2 million. However, the odds of winning any prize will improve from 1 in 32 to 1 in 25,” a news release on the changes said.

“The last time Powerball’s matrix changed was in 2012,” Louisiana Lottery President Rose Hudson said. “Since then, the game’s playing population has grown to include 47 lottery jurisdictions, and jackpots are consequently hit faster. This change will help produce those eye-popping jackpots that players have come to expect with Powerball, while also providing more significant winning experiences and a twist to Power Play.”

Although most of the prize levels remain the same, the $10,000 prize for matching four white-ball numbers plus the red Powerball number will jump to $50,000.

Power Play, the $1 add-on option to Powerball, will also include a 10X multiplier anytime the advertised annuity Powerball jackpot is $150 million or less to encourage game interest at lower jackpot levels.

In those instances, the 10X will be added to the standard field of multipliers that include two 5Xs, three 4Xs, 13 3Xs and 24 2Xs. Players who purchase Power Play have the chance to multiply prizes from the bottom seven prize tiers by the multiplier randomly selected during the drawing. The prize for matching five white-ball numbers will double to $2 million when Power Play is purchased.

In preparation for the changes to Powerball, the multidraw option that allowed for purchasing advance plays was temporarily suspended. It becomes fully operational again on Sunday, when sales start for the new game version. Also, players who regularly use playslips to purchase their tickets must complete a new slip beginning Sunday, Oct. 4.

The Powerball jackpot climbed to an estimated $310 million for Wednesday’s drawing, and a ticket sold in Michigan hit the jackpot. The jackpot for Saturday’s drawing is $40 million.

Powerball began in April 1992 with starting jackpots of $2 million. The Louisiana Lottery joined the game in March 1995 and has had 15 jackpot winners to date.

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Information from: Alexandria Daily Town Talk, http://www.thetowntalk.com

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