One week after the $1.5 billion Powerball jackpot was split between three lucky ticket holders, many lottery players are wondering if there’s a chance that the jackpot will increase to over one billion in the near future.
Hang on to your lucky numbers because there’s a very good chance that a billion dollar Powerball frenzy will happen again in the near future.
It took 19 drawings over the course of 10 weeks to reach the $1.5 billion jackpot that was given away on January 13. According to Walt Hickey of Five Thirty Eight, a change in the Powerball odds last year is making it harder to win the jackpot, but there’s now an increased chance to have “record-smashing” jackpot. With no winners, the jackpot typically rises by $10-15 million after every drawing — that starts to add up fast!
Last October, the odds of winning the jackpot went from 1 in 175 million to 1 in 292 million when more white numbered balls were add to the Powerball lottery game.
“The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot go from about a 1 in 175 million chance to 1 in 292 million. Not great, right?,” Hickey writes. “Yes, but the chances of a Powerball win making some future player a billionaire are radically higher. Like, 7.5 times as high.”
“You may not win as often, but whoever does has a decent shot at winning more money than ever.”
Before the change, the white balls were numbered 1 – 59, but as of October 7, 2015, ten more numbers were added giving lottery players a choice between numbers 1 and 69.
More numbers mean less of a chance that someone will win the jackpot, leading to a whopper of a payout — like last week’s $1.5 million grand prize.
— TIME.com (@TIME) October 17, 2015
If you’re not patient enough to wait for a billion jackpot to come around again, you now have a better chance of winning a non-jackpot prize. While it’s harder to win the entire jackpot, the lottery’s decision to decrease the number of red balls from 35 to 27 gives players better odds (1 in 25) to win a non-jackpot prize of between $4 (just the Powerball) and $1 million (five white balls).
Powerball drawings take place on Wednesday and Thursday night at 10:59 p.m. ET. Tickets are currently sold in 44 states, the District of Columbia and the U. S. Virgin Islands.