The History of the Powerball Lottery

Powerball Lottery LogoCurrent Jackpot: $168,000,000

The History of the Powerball Lottery

The Powerball Lottery was originally started in 1988 as "Lotto America." The lottery changed its name to Powerball Lottery in April, 1992.

Powerball lottery was the first to introduce a two-drum system. Oregon Lottery employee Steve Caputo was the first to propose applying a two-drum system to improve the lottery design and to enable both high odds for the top prize as well as low odds for smaller lottery winnings. A two-drum system was so popular with lottery players that the Mega Millions Lottery decided to copy it later on. Other lotteries worldwide, including the popular Euromillions Lottery, have also copied this successful method.

Another improvement, PowerPlay, was introduced in March, 2001. For an extra $1 you can multiply your winnings by 2X, 3X, 4X, or 5X for the smaller prize levels. Starting in January 4, 2009 the optional multiplier wheel was retired and PowerPlay option has since been drawn by a computer ized system. As for the second prize level, the prize of $200,000 was changed to $1 million cash with PowerPlay and the 2X, 3X, 4X options were canceled for the secondary prizes.

Prior to November, 1997, top prizes could only be received in annual installments over a period of 25 years. Adding a cash option made the lottery more popular. The annuity payout is now available in 30 payments made over 29 years.

Biggest Powerball Jackpots

As of July, 2015, these are the six largest Powerball Lottery jackpots:

  1. $590.5 million in May of 2013 by 84 year old Gloria Mackenzie of Florida
  2. $587.5 million in February 2012 by two winners, one from Arizona and a married couple from Missouri
  3. $564 million in April 2015 by three winners; one from Texas, one from Puerto Rico and one from North Carolina
  4. $448.4 million in August of 2013 by three winners; a group from New Jersey, one winner from Minnesota and an individual winner from New Jersey
  5. $425.3 million in February of 2013 by one winner from California
  6. $399.4 million in September of 2013 by one anonymous winner from South Carolina

The Powerball is often called Americas's Favorite but you can play even if you don't live in the US by playing online. Who knows, you might be the next Powerball Lottery player to make history by winning a huge jackpot!

For more information:
How to Play Powerball
Powerball Payouts and Odds
Where to Play Powerball?