Powerball History

Powerball is perhaps the most well-known lottery game in the world. But how did it get started? Here’s a quick history of this popular game.

End of 1987
The lotteries of West Virginia, Iowa, Rhode Island, District of Columbia, Oregon, Kansas, and Missouri formed the Multi-State Lottery Association.
February 1988
The Multi-State Lottery Association launched a game called Lotto*America, the forerunner of what would later be known as Powerball.
August 1989 – January 1991
Nine more states joined Lotto*America: Wisconsin, Montana, Idaho, Minnesota, Indiana, South Dakota, Kentucky, Maine, and Delaware.
April 1992
Lotto*America was renamed as Powerball.
New game format: 5/45 + 1/45.
The starting jackpot was set to $2 million.
The first official Powerball draw took place on April 22.
April 1994 – October 1996
Six more states joined: Arizona, Nebraska, Louisiana, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and New Mexico.
November 1997
New format: 5/49 + 1/42.
The starting jackpot was set at $10 million.
Annuity increased from 20 to 25 years.
The cash option was added.
March 2001
The Power Play multiplier feature was added, which consisted of a wheel with 12 slots.
The available multipliers were from x1 to x5.
August 2001 – June 2002
Colorado and Pennsylvania joined.
October 2002
New format: 5/53 + 1/42.
South Carolina started selling Powerball tickets.
July 2003 – July 2004
Four more states joined: Vermont, North Dakota, Tennessee, and Maine.
August 2005
New format: 5/55 + 1/42.
The starting jackpot was set at $15 million.
The Power Play wheel was updated to 16 slots.
January 2006 – May 2006
Oklahoma and North Carolina joined.
January 2009
New format: 5/59 + 1/39.
The starting jackpot was set at $20 million.
Power Play was drawn using a Random Number Generator.
Florida joined.
October 2009 – November 2010
13 more states joined: Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Massachusetts, and Ohio.
January 2012
New format: 5/59 + 1/35.
The starting jackpot was set at $40 million.
Power Play was removed.
Draws moved from West des Moines, Iowa to Tallahassee, Florida.
January 2014
Power Play was added back.
April 2013 – September 2014
Two more states and an additional jurisdiction joined: California, Wyoming, and Puerto Rico.
October 2015
New format: 5/69 + 1/26.
The 4 + 1 prize category prize was $50,000.
x10 Power Play multiplier was added to jackpots under $150 million.
January 2016
A $1.586 billion Powerball jackpot was won, setting the world record for the largest lottery jackpot.
January 2020
Mississippi joined.
March 2020
The starting jackpot was set at $20 million due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The minimum roll increase between draws was set at $2 million.
April 2020
The starting and minimum jackpot increases between draws were removed, and they now depend entirely on ticket sales and interest rates.
August 2021
Monday was added as a third weekly draw day.
The Double Play feature was added. Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Washington, opted in to offer it.
July 2022
Montana started offering the Double Play feature.
November 2022
A $2.04 billion Powerball jackpot, won by a single ticket sold in California, set a new world record for the largest lottery jackpot.
February 2023
Nebraska started offering the Double Play feature.