One of the reasons why the Powerball Lottery (offered by 42 states, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia) is so large is that the odds of winning are so small and the pot continues to grow until someone wins. To win the Powerball Jackpot, a player’s 5 game balls and 1 red powerball must match those chosen. Since Powerball began on April 19, 1992, the game has been changed. Each change has lowered the probability of winning by placing more balls in play. See the table, which compares the original and the 2011 powerball games.
Use the information in the table to find the probability of winning the Powerball Jackpot in the original game and in the 2011 game. Note that the order in which the first five numbers occur does not matter. Approximate odds for 2011 Powerball can be found at http://www.powerball.com.
The minimum payoff for the Jackpot has increased from $5 million to $20 million, and the table gives the payoffs for each game.
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