Powerball was launched during this week in 1992 in Iowa and 14 other states. Iowa Lottery spokesperson Mary Neubauer says a lot has changed with the game in 25 years.
“Back when Powerball started, the jackpots started at $2 million and grew from there. Today, we barely blink an eye at $2 million,” Neubauer said. “It’s just funny to see how big the jackpots have become over time and all of the prizes that have been involved in that game through the years.” Powerball’s guaranteed jackpot now starts at $40 million. Powerball tickets are now sold in 44 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The world record for the largest lottery jackpot, a Powerball prize of nearly $1.6 billion, was split by three tickets in California, Florida and Tennessee in January of 2016.
“The biggest Powerball jackpot won here in Iowa was also a very sizeable prize. That was $241 million claimed by the ‘Shipping 20,’ a group of co-workers from the Quaker Oats plant in Cedar Rapids,” Neubauer said. “That was back in June of 2012.” Neubauer has compiled a list of some Powerball factoids in Iowa.
“More than 1,200 Powerball prizes of at least $10,000 have been won here in Iowa. Twenty-seven Powerball prizes of $1 million and 5 prizes of $2 million have been won in Iowa. Overall, Iowa Lottery players have won 8 jackpots in the game,” Neubauer said. The first Iowan to claim a Powerball jackpot was Ed Brown of Washington. He split a $10.4 million jackpot with a Missouri woman in December 1992.