All Change! The US Powerball Is Changing Its Rules. Is It For The Better?
Just when you get used to one way of playing a particular game, it’s Sod’s Law that the rules will change and you have to get used to it all over again. This is certainly the case with the hugely popular US Powerball, which from 7 October this year is set to change its rules, meaning less chance of hitting the big time for players.
It might sound a ridiculous notion to make a lottery less statistically likely for players to win, but there is a method behind this so-called madness, apparently.
Let’s look at the reasons first.
A Slump in Sales Has Forced Officials to Rethink the Whole Thing
At its most popular, the US Powerball jackpot was massive, hitting a record $590.5 million – can you imagine even winning a slice of that? In its heyday the US Powerball was the game everyone wanted to play, but then 2013 hit and sales hit a slump, causing the jackpot to reduce to much lesser levels. Of course, everyone wants to play a game with a massive jackpot, and as the jackpot fell, less people played; I guess you could call it a bit of a vicious circle. By 2014, US Powerball sales had fallen by a huge 19%, which had a hard-hitting effect on the size of the jackpot.
Of course, officials are in it to win in their own way, by running a business, so this slump has forced their hand, to mix things up and see where changes can be made. By changing the rules, it is hoped that more people will play, with more chance of winning something, even if it’s not the jackpot.
What do you think? Would you go all out to win a little, and not a lot?
The New Rules Explained
There are no huge US Powerball rule changes, just slight tweaks, however the effect is much larger. It’s not too much to get your head around, but basically in the past US Powerball players chose their numbers from two fields – 59 in the first, and 35 in the second. Easy, right? Well, this is where the major change occurs, as from the new commencement date, players will choose from 69 numbers in the first field, and 26 in the second.
What does this do?
It basically reduces the chances of winning the jackpot, but in effect it increases the chances of you winning a smaller amount. Maybe you will feel like a winner if you win a small amount of money, and this will chivvy you on to put the numbers on again, in hope to win bigger next time.
This is the thinking behind these rule changes, but is it correct?
The statistics are as follows – basically you are more likely to win something small, with chances of 1 in 25, which have been increased from the previous 1 in 32. However, on the flip side of that, the chances of winning the jackpot have fallen from 68%, to a lesser 64%.
What Do You Make Of All Of This?
It remains to be seen whether these somewhat bizarre rule changes will have a major effect on the number of people who go in to play the US Powerball, and whether it will have the desired effect of increasing players, hopefully boosting the game back up to its former dizzy levels of previous years.
The New York State Gaming Commission has already signed off the changes, ready to be implemented from 7 October 2015, which is certainly just around the corner for US Powerball players.
It calls into question people’s perceived motives for playing the lottery. Do you play to win big, with only that in mind, or do you play for the rush of winning something, no matter how small? I guess many people dream of hitting the big time, and winning the jackpot, but with lesser odds with these new rules, maybe less people will be inclined to continue their dream towards US Powerball glory, and will instead search for a different game to fuel their big time winning dreams.
It all remains to be seen, but from October this year, maybe we will find out a little more.