Starting Sunday, Texas lottery players are now able to play the nation's other multi-state lottery as well as Mega Millions.
Powerball, a 31-state lottery that includes the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands, asks players to pick five numbers between 1 and 59 and a sixth number, the red powerball, between 1 and 39. Players who match the first five win $200,000 and those who match all six win the jackpot.
As of Sunday evening, the estimated jackpot for Wednesday's Powerball drawing is $107 million -- or $52.5 million with the cash option.
Like the Texas Lottery and Mega Millions, Powerball tickets are $1 and payouts are available in an annuity or with a lump sump payment.
Additionally, players may take advantage of the Power Play to multiply their Powerball prizes by 2, 3, 4, or 5 times (does not include the jackpot) for an extra $1. The Power Play mulitplier is drawn before the lottery numbers by Powerball officials.
The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are roughly 1 in 195 million. The odds of winning a prize are 1 in 35.
The introduction of Powerball in Texas was made possible by an agreement in principle announced in October 2009 between the Mega Millions states and the Multi-State Lottery Association to allow for the sale of both Mega Millions and Powerball tickets in all U.S. lottery jurisdictions.
"Now that the rule has been approved, the agency can move forward with preparations for Powerball," said Texas Lottery Commission Deputy Executive Director Gary Grief. "This is an exciting opportunity for the Texas Lottery, our players and our 16,000-plus licensed retailers around the state. In addition to allowing Texas players to participate in the Powerball game, our current Mega Millions game will grow. Because of the significantly increased population base that will have access to both games, there will be an opportunity for jackpots to climb faster and to levels not seen before. Most importantly, this will mean additional revenue for the Foundation School Fund, which supports public education in our state."
The largest advertised jackpot for Powerball was $365 million in February 2006, while the $370 million Mega Millions jackpot record was set in March 2007.
The first drawing for Texas Lottery players will be Wednesday Feb. 3.