It’s Getting Harder To Win The Powerball Jackpot — But Smaller Rewards May Be Within Reach

If you’ve been basing your lottery dreams on the same Powerball odds that have been in place, you better prepare for an adjustment in your sleep-time calculations: The folks behind the curtain are changing the rules, making it tougher to win the Powerball jackpot.

For those pinning their hopes on the jackpot — which hit a record $590.5 million in 2013 — you’ll have to wish even harder than you did in the past. The odds of winning the top prize will increase to 1 in 292,201,338, a change from the former 1 in 175,223,510, reports

But there’s a bright spot for anyone playing in the 36-state lottery, as the odds of winning any money whatsoever are going down at the same time: The chance of winning $4 will improve from 1 in 111 to 1 in 92, so there’s something. Overall, the likelihood that players will win a reward will increase from about 1 in 32 to 1 in 25.

The new rules will go into effect with the Oct. 7 drawing.

“The rules change is intended to increase the odds of winning any prize, while making it more difficult to win the jackpot prize,” New York’s Gaming Commission, which oversees the multi-state lottery game, said in a memo to board members.

The changes are due to a modification in the pool of numbers to be picked from: Right now Powerball players choose from two fields of numbers, with 59 numbers in the first field and 35 in the second. The new changes will see 69 numbers in the first field and 26 in the second.

New York’s state Gaming Commission approved the changes at its board meeting this week, saying the tweaks to the system will make the game more sustainable.

“The proposed rule is intended to increase the odds of winning any prize while decreasing the odds to win the jackpot,” said Robert Williams, executive director of the state Gaming Commission.

It’ll soon be harder to win Powerball []

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