Monday, April 26, 2010

Lottery Expansion Helps Powerball Most (Lottery Trivia Answer 2010-08)

Last Week's Trivia Question #2010-08 was: 
Powerball and Mega Millions began selling each others games at the end of January 2010, but they did not change the format of the games. Since then, we questioned:
  • How has the increased playing population affected the jackpot winning frequencies?
  • Have the average jackpots gotten smaller?
  • What is the average growth of the jackpot prizes?
  • Which game appears to be more popular?
To answer these questions, we examined and summarized the results of these games since 2001.
  • Prior to the change, there were an average of 11.4 Powerball and 12.1 Mega Millions Jackpot yearly winners. In 2010, there have been 4 Powerball and 3 Mega Millions winners. Neither of these indicate an increased frequency of winners.
  • The average winning jackpot sizes of Powerball has increased from $92.2 to $95.5 million. Conversely, the average winning Mega Millions jackpots dropped from $95.6 to $76.5 million since the expansion.
  • Similarily, the average growth of each Powerball jackpot rose nearly $10 million since the expansion (rom $11.6 to $21.5 million).  Mega Million jackpot has grown as well, but only by $2.75 million (from $11.3 to $14M), a much smaller pace.
Based on the growth rates of the Jackpot sizes, it appears that Powerball has been the more popular game, and has profited most from the expansion.  Although the chances of winning Powerball is much higher than Mega Millions, I think this is attributed to:
  1. It's name (Powerball seems more attractive?)
  2. The overall chances of winning a Powerball prize are lower.
  3. The tickets are easier to read and fill out.
  4. The Powerplay Option guarantees 2nd place winners $1 million (it's not a gamble).
Anyway, those are my thoughts. Let's see if things change in the future.


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