Powerball rules change, price for ticket to double

October 19, 2011 6:35:46 PM PDT
If you're a Powerball player, you're chances of winning big money are about to go up -- but you'll have to pay twice as much for that chance.

The three-member Texas Lottery Commission unanimously approved on Wednesday game rule changes for Powerball during a meeting held today at Texas Lottery® headquarters in Austin.

Board members voted to increase the price of the lottery ticket to $2 from $1 but they say the new rules will give more opportunities for players to win $1 million or more. The second-tier prize, awarded for matching all five numbers but not the Powerball number, also will increase to $1 million from $200,000. Players will continue to choose five numbers from one to 59, but the pool of numbers have been dropped to 35 from 39. That will increase players' chances of winning the jackpot to one in 175,223,510, and overall odds of winning any prize to one in 32.

"After reviewing the changes proposed by the Multi-State Lottery Association, which runs Powerball, we feel that the new game will benefit Texas Lottery players and retailers, and more importantly, we hope it will provide increased revenues for the Foundation School Fund," Texas Lottery Commission Chair Mary Ann Williamson said in a statement.

Players will also be able to participate in the revamped Power Play® feature for an extra $1 per play. Power Play will now offer set increases for non-grand/jackpot prizes, including the chance to win $2 million for the second-tier prize.

The new rules kick in on January 18, and starting jackpots for the game will double to $40 million.

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