Third Time’s A Charm? New York Among States Adding Third Weekly Powerball Drawing

Written By Martin Harris on July 12, 2021
Last week the New York State Gaming Commission voted in favor of New York adding a third weekly Powerball drawing.

We all know winning the Powerball jackpot is a long shot. Even so, lottery players in New York will soon be getting an extra chance to get lucky.

Earlier this year, the Multi-State Lottery Association (MSLA) announced a plan to add a third weekly Powerball drawing. The third drawing will take place every Monday evening, going along with the Wednesday and Saturday drawings.

Last week the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) voted in favor of New York adding the third drawing. Thus will Powerballers in the Empire State have a third shot each week to win the big prize.

Addition of third drawing mandatory for NY to continue Powerball

The first Monday Powerball drawing will happen the evening of August 23.

According to the NYSGC, New York could only continue offering Powerball if regulators accepted adding the third drawing.

As the Commission explained in a memo, the MSLA added the third drawing in order to “attract more customers.” However “if New York [did] not accept the change, it would no longer [be allowed to] participate in the Powerball game.”

No jurisdictions have yet chosen against adding the third weekly drawing and thereby withdraw from participating in Powerball. Currently 45 states plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands offer Powerball.

Earlier this year, Idaho voted to remove Powerball in August. Lawmakers in the state objected to the MSLA’s decision to expand Powerball outside the US to Australia.

Lottery sales down in New York and elsewhere during 2020

Most lotteries experienced a decrease in participation during 2020 thanks in part to a variety of factors caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Powerball sales declined as well. Relatedly, in late March 2020 the MSLA announced it was cutting the minimum Powerball jackpot prize from $40 million to $20 million (for winners taking the annuity option). Then in early April the guaranteed starting jackpot and minimum jackpot increases were eliminated altogether.

The NY-based Democrat & Chronicle reports New York Lottery revenue fell 19% in 2020 from the year before.

Powerball costs $2 per play. Powerball involves selecting six numbers from 1 to 69 (the white balls) plus a red Powerball number from 1 to 26. The odds of correctly guessing all six numbers plus to Powerball and winning the Powerball jackpot are about 1 in 292 million.

With the next drawing Wednesday, the current estimated Powerball jackpot is $137 million.

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