On Wednesday, July 8, New York State lottery commissioners announced they would make adjustments to alter the odds of winning the PowerBall lottery — and these changes could result in the first-ever $1 billion jackpot.
But while the amount of the top prize itself will rise, the odds of one actually winning this prize are expected to fall.
According to Time, the New York Gaming Commission — a member of the Multi-State Lottery Association, which oversees 33 states’ lotteries — is changing the odds of winning the PowerBall in order to raise revenues.
Before, one’s chance of hitting it big with the lottery jackpot were 1 in 175,223,510 – meaning your chances of being killed by a shark or struck by lightning were already much higher than your chances of winning the lottery. After the change, these odds will fall to just one in 292,201,338.
With the odds of anyone winning the jackpot decreasing, the likelihood that the PowerBall will reach $1 billion increases — as the PowerBall amount rises whenever there’s a drawing with no winner. And when the PowerBall’s jackpot amount rises, so does the number of lottery tickets sold, which is just what the New York Gaming Commission is hoping will happen.
Despite the staggering drop in the likelihood of winning the coveted billion-dollar PowerBall, there is a positive side to be noted here. Eventually, someone is going to win that jackpot — and he or she will be rolling in wealth and never-ending lottery payments when that happens.
“The chances of a Powerball win making some future player a billionaire are radically higher. Like, 7.5 times as high,” FiveThirtyEight’s Walt Hickey explained.