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Powerball making changes for first time in nearly a decade

The Idaho Lottery said the changes are being made to give players bigger winning experiences.

BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho Lottery announced Wednesday that big changes are coming to Powerball next month.

Officials say new features include bigger winning experiences and the addition of a third draw each week. The cost of a ticket is also going up to $3 but will now include the PowerPlay option, a feature that multiplies all non-jackpot winning prizes by at least double, up to $2,000,000.

“Many Idaho Powerball winners in the past year already include the PowerPlay option, and we have heard from many others who wished they had included PowerPlay to make their wins even larger,” Idaho Lottery Director Jeff Anderson said.

Sales for the new Powerball game begin on Sunday, August 22, 2021. The first drawing with the new features will be on Monday, August 23, 2021.

"Powerball is the most popular lottery game in the country," Anderson said. "It has been Idaho’s favorite game since we helped establish it with 12 other lotteries nearly 30 years ago."

Anderson said it's been nearly a decade since the last change to Powerball and this was the right time to introduce these game enhancements.

Beginning on Monday, August 23, Powerball will add a third draw night. Draws will occur at 8:59 p.m. MT every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday night. This change is occurring nationally. The purpose is to generate larger jackpots.

Earlier this year, it looked as if the Powerball game might end its 30-year run in Idaho on August 23rd after the state Legislature killed legislation that would have allowed the game to continue. Lawmakers feared foreign participation after the Powerball announced an expansion to Australia and Britain. Idaho law only permits lotteries in the state that are played in the U.S. and Canada.

“Last March, it looked as if players would lose the choice to play Powerball,” said Anderson. “However, the decision by the Powerball Game Group to include other countries in Powerball and begin international sales was delayed until 2022."

Powerball generates around $28 million in sales annually and provides about $9 million to Idaho schools each year.

The odds of winning any prize remain the same as they have been for the past six years. The changes only apply to Powerball, not other lottery games played in Idaho.

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