Press Room

Powerball® Sets National Winnings Record

14 percent increase in prizes over previous record makes for biggest year ever

DES MOINES, Iowa - New players and more retailers across the United States have made "hitting the numbers" hit a record for Powerball®.

Fiscal year 2010 marked the biggest year ever for winnings in the popular lotto game, which is now played in 42 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. That success helped lotteries in the game raise proceeds for the valuable causes they benefit.

"We had more big jackpots and more people playing," said Vermont Lottery Executive Director Alan Yandow, chair of the Powerball Group for the Urbandale-based Multi-State Lottery Association that administers the game. "Powerball continues to provide entertainment and winnings to players all across the country."

Preliminary figures show that Powerball players won 78.7 million prizes totaling more than $1.6 billion in the game's latest fiscal year, which ended June 30. That was a 14 percent increase over the previous high of $1.38 billion in prizes in FY 2006. And, 106 new Powerball millionaires were created during the latest year, with 13 jackpot winners of at least $20 million and 93 winners of $1 million prizes with the Power Play® option.

In January, many U.S. lotteries began selling both Powerball and Mega Millions®, another popular multi-state lotto game. The initial months following the change have appeared to meet expectations of increasing Powerball's jackpot at a faster rate. Since the January change, lottery players have won more than 75 million prizes in Powerball® and Mega Millions®, including more than 80 prizes of $1 million.

In Iowa, Powerball sales totaled $59.2 million in FY 2010. Iowa Powerball prizes totaled nearly $28.6 million during the period. Iowa Lottery players won a total of 1.4 million Powerball prizes during the year, including five prizes of $1 million with the Power Play option.

Mega Millions players in Iowa won more than 110,000 prizes in FY 2010, including one prize of $1 million with the Megaplier option.

Lottery officials said that the January changes in Powerball also have created more $1 million winners in the game. Players who match the first five numbers in a Powerball drawing with the additional Power Play option now win $1 million, no matter what the Power Play multiplier is for that drawing.

"Players are really enjoying the chance to be a millionaire," Yandow said. "They also know their ticket purchases raise money for many valuable causes benefitted by lotteries."

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