“When playing Powerball, there are nine different ways to walk away with a prize. Except for the “Grand Prize,” all of the rewards consist of a predetermined amount of cash. Prize payout amounts in California are established using the pari-mutuel system and are based on the total number of winners and sales “The explanation may be found on the Powerball website. The amount of money up for grabs in the Powerball jackpot keeps growing until someone claims it. According to the website, “The Match 5 + Power Play reward value is always $2 million, while the 10X multiplier is only in play when the stated jackpot is $150 million or less.” This information was gleaned from the lottery’s official announcement. The prize money for those who win the jackpot can either be paid out in a single lump amount or as an annuity. If the winner opts for the annuity option, they will be assured of receiving 30 increasingly large payments spread out over the course of 29 years. According to the website, the annual payments will continue to climb by 5% right up until the 30th and final payment.
The bare minimum to wager on Powerball is $2. In each game, players choose five numbers from a set of 69 white balls and one number from a set of 26 red Powerballs; the number chosen from the red Powerballs can be the same as one of the white ball numbers. There is no significance to the order in which the five white balls are drawn, as the numbers of the white balls are always displayed on the tickets in ascending order. The drawn Powerball cannot be used by players to match one of their white numbers, and vice versa is also not allowed. Players have the option of picking their own numbers or letting the machine choose them in a manner that is similar to randomness (the name for this varies by state, but most are called some variation of “quick pick”, “easy pick”, etc.).
At each and every drawing, the winning numbers are chosen by using two different ball machines: one machine has the white balls, while the other machine contains the red Powerballs. From the first machine, one white ball and one red ball are drawn, and from the second machine, one red ball is drawn. Winners are determined by whether their game matched at least three white balls or the red Powerball.
Each drawing uses two machines that are exactly the same, with the machines being chosen at random from one of four different sets. The machine in question is a Halogen, which was produced by Smartplay International of Edgewater Park, New Jersey, and is the model that was used. There are eight different ball sets, with four of each color. Prior to each drawing, one set of each colors will be chosen at random. A turntable located at the base of the machine is responsible for mixing the balls by moving them around the chamber in a circular motion. The turntable will slow down to capture the ball when the machine chooses it, then it will send the ball up the shaft, and finally, it will send it down the rail to the display. (The Florida Lottery was contemplating implementing a random number generator for its in-state drawings in 2019, however it is currently unknown whether or not this would have an impact on the Powerball jackpot.) In the event that the machine at the actual location is unavailable, as was the situation during Hurricane Michael, MUSL’s headquarters in Iowa is equipped with a backup machine. Carol & Company, CPA is in charge of providing oversight for the designs.
A player may engage the Power Play option for an additional one dollar every game if they so choose. When it is activated, it increases lower-tier prizes (base prize of $50,000 or less) by a factor of up to 5, or by a factor of 10 when the jackpot is less than $150 million. The Power Play number is selected independently from the other six numbers. If the Power Play feature is utilized, the 5+0 reward will immediately be increased to a value of $2 million.
Players are faced with a difficult choice: whether to boost their chances of winning lower-tier prizes or to increase their chances of winning the jackpot. If a player chooses to spend a predetermined amount of money on tickets at a specific time, then that player will be required to forfeit one guess of the winning set of numbers for every two times that player activates Power Play with respect to one of the purchased tickets. This will occur after the player has selected the amount of money to spend on tickets.
When Power Play first started in 2001, the winners were selected using a unique wheel. During the years 2006 and 2007, MUSL switched out one of the five-cent places on the Power Play wheel for a ten-dollar position. MUSL ensured that there would be at least one drawing with a 10x multiplier for any promotion that lasted a full month. In 2008, the promotion was brought back, and there were two times that the ball fell in the 10 slot. Throughout May of 2010, the 10-cent multiplier made a comeback after being absent in 2009. (after the Power Play drawing was changed to RNG.) Due to the fact that the 10-cent multiplier was not won until June 12, 2010, the promotion was extended for the one and only time. The guarantee for the second prize of 5 cents was maintained, and the multiplier of 10 cents was applied to all prizes that were not the jackpot, just as it was in earlier campaigns.
The success of Power Play has led to the creation of comparable multipliers in other games, the most notable of which being Megaplier, which is accessible to all Mega Millions of members outside of the state of California. Because of the adjustments that were made to Powerball in 2012, all eight of the lower-tier levels now have “fixed” Power Play rewards.