09 Oct Probability of Winning a Powerball Jackpot Just Got Worse
Selling lottery payments just got a little harder in the state of New Mexico, and it has nothing to do with taking a lump sum versus annuity. It has to do with the fact that odds of actually winning a Powerball jackpot have gotten worse. Lottery officials in the state announced earlier this week (10/5) that they’ve decreased the odds of hitting a jackpot winner, but made it more likely you’ll win something overall, according to the local Albuquerque news station KRQE.com.
Before the changes were implemented lottery players had a one in 175 million chance in winning the Powerball jackpot. Today the probability of taking home the grand prize is one in 292 million. That being said, there could be more people selling lottery payments overall as the chances of winning any sort of prize dropped from one in 32 to one in 25. This means there will be more smaller cash winners.
The Powerball jackpot is similar to the Mega Millions in that if won you can choose an immediate lump sum, or the lottery annuity which is paid out in 30 gradually increasing lottery payments.
The main reason for the decision to alter the odds was due to the recent decline in Powerball sales in the state. The sale of Powerball tickets fell by about 18% in New Mexico in 2015, while instant win scratch off games have increased in popularity.
While some people will likely be discouraged by the greater improbability of a jackpot win, there are some that are welcoming the change. New Mexican resident Mathew Tuttle has bought lotto tickets for a long time knowing the likelihood of a big win is almost impossible, according to another local news station KOB.com.
He rationalizes the expense by thinking of his children’s education, which is subsidized by a scholarship funded by the lottery. People who win a jackpot lose or spend all of their money about 70% of the time, no matter the value of the lottery payments. Obtaining an education for a child is invaluable and lasts a lifetime.
“I do still buy tickets occasionally, knowing I’m not going to win, and knowing that my daughter’s college education was paid for that way,” Tuttle said.
In addition to the overall increase in winning percentage, they also rose the amount won for matching four white balls with the red Powerball from $10,000 to $50,000. That’s certainly not enough to live off of, but nearly half (48%) of lotto winners remain at their place of employment anyway.