Iowa Has Now Seen Three $1 Million Powerball Prizes In A Little More Than A Month
DES MOINES, Iowa - Friday's monster $500 million Mega Millions® jackpot may be the lottery prize that's generating headlines around the country, but Powerball is definitely having an impact in Iowa, too. Someone who bought a Powerball ticket at a Council Bluffs supermarket won a $1 million prize in Wednesday night's drawing. It's the third $1 million-winning Powerball ticket sold in Iowa in a little more than a month.
The Council Bluffs ticket, sold at Hy-Vee, 1745 Madison Ave. in Council Bluffs, came close to winning it all, matching the first five numbers but missing the Powerball in Wednesday's drawing. The winning numbers in Wednesday's $50 million Powerball drawing were: 11-16-29-50-58 and Powerball 33.
"We had anticipated that $2 Powerball would mean more millionaires for our players in Iowa, and it's definitely delivering," Lottery CEO Terry Rich said.
This is Iowa's third $1 million winner since $2 Powerball began in January. The new version of the game debuted Jan. 15, sporting several new features to give players more value. The game's starting jackpots have doubled to $40 million and the jackpot is now easier to win. But perhaps the most important change for the person who bought the winning ticket in Council Bluffs is that the game's second prize for matching the first five numbers but missing the Powerball has increased from $200,000 to the current $1 million cash.
No one won the jackpot in Wednesday's drawing, so the Powerball jackpot climbs to an estimated $60 million for Saturday.
Players in $2 Powerball still choose their first five numbers from a pool of 59, but the group of numbers in the Powerball pool has shrunk from 39 to 35, producing better overall odds of winning a prize. The Power Play® option is still available for an extra $1 per play.
Gary Higens of Des Moines claimed a $1 million Powerball prize on March 1, close on the heels of Steve Petty of Adair, who had claimed a $1 million Powerball prize on Feb. 20.
Since getting its start in April 1992 in 15 states with jackpots that started at a guaranteed $2 million, Powerball has grown into one of the world's biggest and most recognizable lottery games. Today Powerball is played by 44 lotteries across the country with drawings at 9:59 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
And what about that $500 million Mega Millions jackpot? It's a world record and it's up for grabs in Friday's drawing of that multi-state game. The Mega Millions jackpot was last won in the drawing on Jan. 24, so it has been growing for more than two months.
Powerball and Mega Millions are both lotto games with jackpots that have climbed into the hundreds of millions of dollars. But until 2010, the games were sold by separate groups of states. Many lotteries, including Iowa, began offering both games on Jan. 31, 2010. Today, Mega Millions tickets are sold by 44 lotteries: Iowa, 41 other states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Mega Millions players choose five numbers from a pool of 56 numbers and another number - the Mega Ball - from a pool of 46. Plays cost $1 and drawings are held at 10 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays. Players who purchase the Megaplier option for an additional $1 per play can increase their winnings (except for the jackpot) by up to four times the amount.