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The rules change increased the white numbers to from and decreased the red number to from . The effect was to decrease the chance of winning the jackpot from in . million to in . million. The chance of winning that in chump change was increased to in from in .

On the surface, the purpose was no secret The rules change is intended to increase the odds of winning any prize, while making it more difficult to win the jackpot prize, the New York Gaming Commission, which ran the game last year, said at the time. But it was a little more reticent about the real goal, which was to reduce the probability of any jackpot winner at the twiceweekly drawings, and thus increase the probability of a massive, potentially billiondollar jackpot.

The jackpots increase whenever theres no jackpot winner. As Walt Hickey of fivethirtyeight.com calculated, the chance of a billiondollar jackpot in any fiveyear period rose more than sevenfold.  The change was spurred by signs that Powerball was becoming an endangered species of lottery. Sales had fallen nationwide in because of the lack of a 파워볼실시간사이트 major jackpot. In New York, sales had declined , and state officials were talking about the possibility they would remove the Powerball game from their portfolio of offerings.

In California, which started offering Powerball in , the games sales slumped by more million from million, because of the lack of a big jackpot. You can look at the financial data from year to year and easily point to the years with a big jackpot, Alex Traverso, a spokesman for the California lottery, told me. But they had a precedent to work with. organizers of the Mega Millions multistate game had boosted its flagging sales by changing the odds of a big win to from, with the same idea of increasing successive jackpots.

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They took their lesson from the big jackpot year of biggest Mega Millions haul was million in sales , the year of the largest ever until the current Powerball game. The following year, sales slumped. The lottery organizers base their work on a wellunderstood facet of human nature people dont understand odds. They pay less attention to the probability of a given event than the consequences if it takes place. The odds of a terrorist incident on a plane come to per .

million departures, statistics guru Nate Silver calculated in , but people tend to focus on the outcome hundreds of passengers perishing at once than on the probabilities. The same phenomenon is at work with Powerball Customers focus their attention less on that incomprehensibly tiny probability, and more on what theyll do with the billiondollar prize when they win it. Its also wellunderstood that in economic terms, the people who are exploited by this mismatch of expectations tend to be disproportionately lowincome and less educated.

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