Powerball Ups Price, Prizes

Rule changes increase price of ticket, prizes awarded

Want to win big with the Powerball lottery? Your chances may improve in 2012 as the Texas Lottery Commission approved game rule changes to the multi-state lottery game.

The biggest change to players is the price increase -- tickets will be $2 each instead of the current $1 beginning on January 15, 2012.

Still, that more expensive ticket may give you a better chance to net the jackpot. Entries will still consist of the one through 59 first five numbers, but the Powerball itself will be picked from a pool of one to 35 -- 4 numbers less than the current one through 39.

If you're not sure if that minor change will improve you chances, check the numbers. Currently, the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot at one in 195,249,054.00 (according to the official lottery site) while the new, reduced pool, increases the chances of winning the jackpot to one in 175,223,510.

But you won't have to pick the right Powerball to win big, either. New prizes raise the winnings for matching the first five numbers from $200,000 to $1 million.

If entrants want to win even more, they'll have the chance to add another $1 to the ticket price to increase non-grand/jackpot prizes, including bumping up that five-number prize to $2 million.

Starting jackpots for the new game will be set at $40 million.

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