Football fans aren’t the only thing heading from Iowa to Florida in January. The Powerball drawing that’s been held in the state since it was created is moving to Florida on January 4th. Iowa Lottery spokesperson, Mary Neubauer, says the move of the drawing is part of some new things that will happen as Florida joins the 31 other states that sell Powerball tickets.
Neubauer says one of the other changes is that the starting jackpot goes from 15-million dollars to 20-million dollars, and the prize for matching five numbers without the Powerball moves to $200,000. Neubauer says they will still offer the multiplier that will up the prize for matching five numbers to one million dollars.
The number of white balls in the mix for the pick five is increasing by four to 59 balls. She says on the Powerball side they are taking away some balls, so there will be 39 Powerball options to chose from, and that will increase the odds winning the jackpot to one in 195.2 million, while the odds of winning any of the prizes will drop to one in 35.1. The average jackpot is estimated to move from just over 95-million dollars to 141 million dollars.
Neubauer says there has been some confusion about the change in the location of the drawing. Neubauer says when they’ve discussed moving the drawing to Florida, some people think that means you won’t be able to buy Powerball tickets in Iowa, but she says that’s the furthest thing from the truth, as it’s only the location where the drawing is being held that is moving. Adding Florida to the Powerball mix should have a big impact on the game.
Neubauer says the biggest single factor in Powerball is population, as that determines the kind, size and number of prizes that can be offered, and Florida adds millions of potential new players to the game. Powerball tickets will stay at one dollar per play. Powerball was the brainchild of retired Iowa Lottery Director Ed Stanek and began in April 1992. Powerball’s largest jackpot so far was 365 million dollars won on February 18, 2006 by eight co-workers at a Nebraska meatpacking plant.