On January 4, 2009, the Powerball game will change. As Florida will join Powerball on January 4, 2009 Powerball is adding some white ball numbers and subtracting some of the red ball numbers.
Through the drawing of Wednesday, December 31, 2008, Powerball is played as follows: a player pays $1 and picks five numbers from 1 to 55 (white balls) and one additional number from 1 to 42 (the red Powerball number.) For an additional $1, the player may activate the optional PowerPlay feature, which applies a random multiplier, using a special wheel spun, to all prizes except the jackpot. Depending on the PowerPlay number, players may multiply non-jackpot prizes by 2 to 5 (or, during a yearly promotion, 10x.)
However, starting from January 4, 2009, the new Powerball will be a 59/39 game. The Power Play option will continue, except that Powerball will now always draw a 5X for the second prize (Match 5+0). That means that when you win the second prize and have also purchased the Power Play option, your $200,000 will automatically become $1 million; every time. And this prize is paid in cash. The Power Play option will still offer the chance of drawing the multipliers 2X, 3X, 4X, or 5X for the other set prize levels, but the second prize will never be less than 5X. Odds will now change from 1 in 146,107,962 to 1 in 195,249,054.
The starting jackpot will also be bumped from a guaranteed $15 million to a guaranteed $20 million.