Wednesday’s jackpot might have been the second-biggest, but many expected it to actually surpass that $1.6 billion record if that lucky Massachusetts ticket-holder hadn’t hit on the right numbers. That’s because of what Kelly Tabor, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Lottery, calls “jackpot chasers,” casual players who rush out to buy a ticket when the jackpot gets big enough.
The American Powerball,known as "Lotto America" made it debut way back in 1988, which makes it one of the oldest Lottery games around today. In 1992 they changed the name to the Powerball lottery, with the first official Powerball draw being held on April 19th, 1992. The game has grown and evolved over the years now totalling 44 States and various changes being applied to the ball and prize structure from the game back in 1988. These include a change in the annuity prize payments from 20 yearly payments to 30, and the addition of a cash option for the jackpot as the jackpot is massive averaging around $100 million.
In Georgia, New Jersey, and Texas, players must choose, in advance, whether they wish to collect a jackpot prize in cash or annuity. Georgia and New Jersey winners can change an annuity ticket to cash should they be eligible for a jackpot share; however, the choice is binding in Texas. The other Mega Millions members allow the cash/annuity choice to be made after winning (usually 60 days after claiming the ticket), although in Florida the 60-day "clock" starts with the drawing in which the jackpot prize was won.

Powerball numbers are drawn from two sets of numbers, so the odds of winning a prize are calculated by combining the odds for both sets of numbers for all prize levels. The odds for matching just the Powerball are calculated by combining the odds of selecting the Powerball and the odds of not selecting any of the five numbers from the first set of numbers drawn.
Jump up ^ "NEW YORK STATE GAMING COMMISSION AMENDMENT OF SECTIONS 5004.9, 5007.2, 5007.13, 5007.15, 5007.16, 5009.2 and 5010.2 OF NEW YORK CODES, RULES AND REGULATIONS TITLE 9, SUBTITLE T, CHAPTER III, SUBCHAPTER A" (PDF). New York State Gaming Commission. New York State Gaming Commission. p. 4. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 24, 2015. Retrieved 2015-08-02.

If you are a EuroMillions or Powerball player then you've likely experienced the frustration of never quite matching the winning numbers. EuroMillions was designed to pay out big jackpots but your chances of winning are extremely small. In contrast, the EuroJackpot lottery is designed to give more players the chance to win. Although the prizes are smaller than EuroMillions, jackpots are won far more frequently and you are nearly twice as likely to win betting with EuroJackpot!
Jump up ^ "NEW YORK STATE GAMING COMMISSION AMENDMENT OF SECTIONS 5004.9, 5007.2, 5007.13, 5007.15, 5007.16, 5009.2 and 5010.2 OF NEW YORK CODES, RULES AND REGULATIONS TITLE 9, SUBTITLE T, CHAPTER III, SUBCHAPTER A" (PDF). New York State Gaming Commission. New York State Gaming Commission. p. 4. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 24, 2015. Retrieved 2015-08-02.

The structure of the draw is one which regular lottery players will be very familiar with; players must pick 5 regular numbers from a pool with a total of 69 numbers and in addition to these regular number picks, you also choose one bonus ball (known as the Powerball) from a pool of 26. These two pools of numbers are mutually exclusive and remain completely separate throughout the drawing procedure. In order to jackpot the US Powerball, you need to match all 5 regular numbers and the Powerball. Do this and you are instant Powerball millionaire – it’s as simple as that!

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