Two identical machines are used for each drawing, randomly selected from four sets. The model of machine used is the Halogen, manufactured by Smartplay International of Edgewater Park, New Jersey. There are eight ball sets (four of each color); one set of each color is randomly selected before a drawing. The balls are mixed by a turntable at the bottom of the machine that propels the balls around the chamber. When the machine selects a ball, the turntable slows to catch it, sends it up the shaft, and then down the rail to the display.
Drawings are usually held at the studios of WSB-TV in Atlanta, Georgia. The original host was WSB's chief meteorologist, Glenn Burns. Currently, most drawings are emceed by the full-time host of Georgia Lottery drawings, John Crow, with Brian Hooker the main substitute host. For larger jackpots, the drawing sometimes is moved to Times Square, with New York Lottery announcer Yolanda Vega co-hosting.
Due to falling sales of Hot Lotto (whose final drawing was October 28, 2017), a new version of Lotto America became available on November 12, 2017; its first drawing was November 15, 2017. Lotto America is available wherever Hot Lotto was offered at the time of its final drawing (except New Hampshire.) Lotto America is drawn on Wednesday and Saturday nights after 11 p.m. ET/10 p.m. CT. For each $1 play, bettors choose five numbers from 1 through 52, and a "star ball" numbered from 1 through 10, or ask for terminal-generated numbers. For an additional $1 per play, the bettor can add the "All-Star Bonus" option, which multiplies non-jackpot prizes by 2, 3, 4, or 5. The minimum Lotto America jackpot is $2 million; however, the game's initial jackpot was $15 million; the 13 members chose to augment the jackpot with funds from Hot Lotto, whose final jackpot was not won.
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Having initially played 'little sister' to Mega Millions, changes made to Powerball in January 2012 and October 2015 meant that the Powerball lottery now consistently awards the biggest lottery jackpots in the world. In the year after the 2012 changes just under one in two (actual amount: 50 out of 104) Powerball draw jackpots were more than $100,000,000.
The advertised Jackpot Prize is paid as an annuity of 30 payments over 29 years or, at the election of the winner, in a single lump sum payment of the cash value of the annuity prize (prize subject to State and Federal taxes). If the winner chooses the annuity, the annual payments will be increased each year by a percentage set out in the Lotto America Group Rules. Annuity payments are paid pursuant to Lotto America Group Rules and New Mexico State Law.