Exploring the History & Evolution of Powerball

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  • Author:
    Shaun Greer
  • Published:

Discover where the game of Powerball began and how it’s evolved over the years to become one of the most popular drawings nationwide.

Watching that Powerball jackpot grow and grow into millions, sometimes billions of dollars, is exciting! But you might not know just how today’s Powerball got its start. The history of Powerball had a humble beginning and has grown into a multi-state, uber-popular lottery drawing. Let’s delve into the history of Powerball’s beginnings and how far it has come today.

When and How Powerball Got Started

Step back in time, way back to February 1988. Lotto America was created by seven different lotteries in the USA. By April 1992, Lotto America was rebranded as Powerball, increasing the excitement and opportunities to win big. Switching from the traditional one drum of numbers to two. Now, there were 15 participating lotteries overseen by the Multi-State Lottery Association.

Numbers and Rule Changes

Over the years, there have been a few rule and number changes for Powerball. And most all of the regulation shifts resulted in player benefits. As states began to realize the tax-boosting benefits and individuals started having more fun with the idea of becoming instant millionaires, officials looked to adopt more ways to play, more ways to win, and bigger life-changing jackpot prize minimums.

In the original Powerball game, players would select five primary numbers out of a selection of 45 and one separate Powerball from a different set of 45. By 1997, the rules had changed in favor of the players. The main numbers would be selected from a range of one to 49, and the Powerball range would be shortened to 42. And to sweeten the deal even more, officials upped the minimum jackpot from the previous $2M to a cool $10M.

The numbers changed again in 2015, with an increase of main white ball numbers to 69 and a decrease of Powerball numbers to 26. This made the jackpot a little more difficult to reach. But it significantly increased the chances of other non-jackpot prizes, which could potentially change more lives than ever for those who could align at least some of the weekly drawn digits.

Power Play Begins in 2001

Come March of 2001, Power Play came into the picture, allowing Powerball players to select multipliers at the time of ticket purchase for non-jackpot prizes. This was a game-changer when players couldtechnically match fewer balls and still become five and six-figure cash winners. Still today, you'll find countless Powerball winner stories of players who doubled or even 10X their prizes.

Minimum Jackpot Rose to $40M in 2012

Effective January 4, 2012, the Powerball minimum jackpot rose to $40M. The number ranges adjusted again, increasing the odds of winning the big prize. By 2015, players would choose from one to 69 for the preliminary numbers and one to 26 for the Powerball. A 10x Power Play also became a reality, boosting prizes worth $150Mor less.

More Chances to Win Now Than Ever

Today, there are more chances than ever to win all or part of a Powerball jackpot! There are now forty-five states that participate in Powerball, including Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. Playing Powerball is now easier than ever too! There are thousands of gas stations, convenience stores, and supermarkets in participating states that are authorized to sell Powerball tickets.Many players use the Quick Pick function, allowing the computer system to select their numbers, but other players prefer to choose their numbers. Powerball players can play as many times as they desire, with drawings being held regularly.

Powerball has certainly come a long way since its beginnings 36 years ago! Increased jackpots, number choices, participating states, and so many opportunities to play in your hometown or home state combine to make playing Powerball an exciting adventure.

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