Oct. 24, 2013 – The Pennsylvania Lottery announced Wednesday that PowerPlay, the optional addition to Powerball tickets which increases non-jackpot prize amounts, will become a variable multiplier early next year.
Before changes were adopted in January 2012 to increase the number of winners and prize values, the PowerPlay multiplier was determined through a drawing, the same way as the “Megaplier” option available to Mega Millions players.
Under the current version of the game, PowerPlay acts as a fixed multiplier for non-jackpot prizes. Tickets that win a second-tier prize with PowerPlay are worth twice the normal second prize amount. Third-prize winning tickets are worth quadruple their normal value when PowerPlay is added, and other prize values increase by other fixed multipliers.
Beginning Jan. 22, 2014, however, PowerPlay will once again be a variable multiplier. The rule change will create a separate drawing to determine the multiplier for prizes other than the jackpot and “Match 5” second-tier prize. Tickets with the PowerPlay option which match the first five numbers drawn will be worth an automatic $2 million.
The price of the PowerPlay option will remain at $1, on top of the $2 purchase of a Powerball ticket. The PowerPlay drawing will determine a multiplier as low as 2x and as high as 5x for eligible prize values.
Because of the planned changes, players’ ability to buy Powerball tickets in advance is already limited. The final drawing under the current version of the game, with PowerPlay as a fixed multiplier, will be held Jan. 18. Following that drawing, the normal advance play limitations will resume.